The use of preighters has been one of the emerging trends of the aviation industry’s response to the global Covid-19 pandemic and meant that on the European routes in 2020, unconverted passenger aircraft were left to handle 30 per cent of the nearly 7 billion CTK flown, compared to the 65 per cent handled in pre-pandemic 2019.
Traditional freighter aircraft carried the remaining 47 per cent in 2020, compared to 35 per cent in 2019.
Meanwhile, on Asia-Middle East in 2020, passenger aircraft handled 35 per cent of the more than 10 billion CTK flown while cargo aircraft carried 43 per cent, compared to 69 per cent and 31 per cent respectively in 2019.
The North America-Middle East segment remains the smallest, accounting for nearly 4 billion CTK flown in 2019 and dropping to a little over 3 billion in 2020.
Preighters on the route only accounted for 18 per cent while 24 per cent was carried on passenger aircraft in 2020, compared to 2019 when 54 per cent of all CTK was flown by passenger aircraft.
The resulting changes means traditional freighters accounted for 46 per cent in 2019, up to 58 per cent in 2020.