Asian cargo monthly: Carriers back on form in April

24 / 05 / 2018

Asian airlines saw cargo demand growth improve in April after a weaker performance in March.

The region’s largest carrier group, Cathay Pacific, registered a 7.9% increase in demand to 979m cargo and mail revenue tonne kms.

This is up on the 4.9% increase recorded in March and is also ahead of growth over the first four months of 7.7%.

Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam said: “The positive momentum in our cargo business continued into April. Tonnage grew ahead of capacity while yield strengthened.

“After a slight slow-down in our Hong Kong and mainland China markets early in the month, volumes started to pick up again during the month and network flow from the Americas, Europe, India, Japan and Southeast Asia continued to show strength.”

The airline also registered an improvement in load factors as demand growth outstripped supply — its utilisation for the month reached 68% compared with 65.7% last year.

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Air China also saw cargo demand growth pick up compared March levels as it registered a 9.2% increase to 677m revenue freight tonne kms.

The improvement was fuelled by performance on its international routes, while there was a decrease on international and regional services.

However, the increase for April does lag slightly behind its growth over the first four months of 10.4% and its load factor for the month decreased slightly to 56.6% compared with 56.9% last year.

Also, in tonnage terms, cargo demand was up by 3.3% suggesting the increase in traffic is largely down to longer routes being introduced.

At China Southern, cargo traffic increased by 4% in April, up on a flat month in March. The growth was again fuelled by international services, while domestic and regional cargo traffic decreased.

While there was an improvement on March levels, the increase lags behind performance over the first four months when it registered a 6.2% increase.

The airline’s cargo load factor for April stood at 53.7% compared with 54.3% a month earlier.

Elsewhere, Singapore Airlines Cargo registered a second year-on-year decrease in cargo traffic in a row, slipping 0.4% in April, there was a 4% increase at EVA Air, which is ahead of demand over the first four months, China Eastern noted a 5.7% increase and China Airlines was up by 5.4%.

European airlines also saw demand growth improve in April.

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