The Cargo Boom: Containerlines refloat Airlines — May 2022

Containerlines have just enjoyed the most profitable, by far, two years in their history while airlines suffered the worst two years, by far, in their history. Shipping companies have been using some of their surplus funds to make some significant investments in airlines — opportunistic tactics or a strategic trend?

IATA estimates that the airline industry globally made an operating loss of $111bn in 2020 followed by $54bn in 2021. The main containerlines returned an operating profit of $40bn in 2020 followed by $150bn in 2021 (estimates from HSBC and AlixPartners). Maritime expectations are for a similar or slightly better operating profit in 2022 while the global airline loss may fall to a mere $18bn.

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