“No doubt, at the
biggest trade show for air cargo in 2023, takes on what the big crowd
talked about have varied.
Overwhelmingly it was mostly about people
and relationships as Air Cargo Europe was absent for four years during
the Covid pandemic.
But things are moving fast and getting a
handle on exactly what lies ahead for business in 2023 can be a bit of
We spoke to Ian McCool, Managing Director
of International Airline Marketing IAM, a GSSA based in Dublin, who spent
the last days talking to lots of people.
“If MUC had taken place two months
earlier, there may have been some very different discussion.
“The general feeling is that the European
market, since just before Easter, has gone through a dramatic change.
“Macro-economic issues: Concerns of
possible recessions, banking crisis, high interest rates, inflation, the
continuing war in Ukraine, U.S. debt ceiling, tech slowdown, U.S. tensions
with China, China tensions with Taiwan, emissions reductions and climate
“Match the above with high inventory
levels for many shippers, manufacturer slowdowns in some major markets,
slowing global demand, increasing pax flight schedules, state and religious
holidays in the last two months.
“The basic economics of supply vs
demand has stretched the elasticity of yields on certain trade lanes.”
In 2023, IAM serves American Airlines Cargo,
Etihad Cargo, Air Canada Cargo and All Nippon Airways, to name but a few.
IAM is Ireland’s largest Air Cargo
General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA), handling a quarter of all airfreight
traffic from Ireland.
“Ireland is now the only country in
the EU with English as its first language.
“Brexit remains the gift that keeps
on giving; today Ireland is in a unique position.
“It is a key part of one of the largest
markets in the world, the European Union with very strong/established
business/political connections with the U.S.”
“The air cargo industry has always
had the ability to react and adjust quickly.
“Most markets are going through a
period of adjustment, some a bit more dramatic than others.
“Some sectors are holding up better
than others such as specialist type traffic, i.e. temperature control,
outsized cargo and express products.
“The crystal balls are still a bit
cloudy but through the gaps in the cloud, we can see some positive signs.
“Most air cargo professionals are
used to the cyclical and unforeseen market changes of our industry and
have the know-how and experience to steady the ship and adjust the strategy.
“The only certainly,” Ian notes,
“I could glean from the many meetings and conversations during this
welcome back week in MUC, is that we are in for a period of uncertainty.
“The hopes and anticipation is that
the situation will stabilize toward the last quarter,” Ian McCool