International air freight will drive overall world air cargo growth through 2031.
Over the next 20 years, world air cargo traffic will grow 5.2% per year. Air freight, including express traffic, will average 5.3% annual growth, measured in RTKs. Air mail traffic will grow much more slowly, averaging only 0.9% annual growth through 2031. Overall, world air cargo traffic will increase from 202.4 billion RTKs in 2011 (down from its 2010 record of 204.2 billion RTKs) to more than 558.3 billion RTKs in 2031.
Asia will continue to lead the world air cargo industry in average annual growth rates, with domestic China and intra-Asia markets expanding 8.0% and 6.9% per year, respectively. Latin America markets with North America and with Europe will grow at approximately the world average growth rate, as will Middle East markets with Europe. The more mature North America and Europe markets reflect slower and thus lower-than-average traffic growth rates.