AAPA notes “relatively firm” airfreight demand in October

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has observed that air cargo demand last month remained “relatively firm”, according to its preliminary October 2020 traffic figures.

However, demand in October this year — measured in freight tonne km (FTKs) — was still 13% lower than in the same period last year.

The association said this was due to the lack of available bellyhold capacity as passenger demand remained low due to the effects of the pandemic.

It also suggested: “air cargo reinforces the need to restore network connectivity given potential capacity shortages”.

Meanwhile, the AAPA revealed that the average international freight load factor in October 2020 climbed 9.7 percentage points higher to 71.4%.

Commenting on the results, AAPA director general Subhas Menon, said: “Prolonged border restrictions have led to precipitous declines in air traffic and global connectivity, with Asia Pacific [passenger traffic] alone suffering a 76% plunge.

He added: “As 2021 beckons, Asia Pacific aviation is ready and willing to play its part in a successful restart and recovery. Airlines will also play a critical role in ensuring that the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is accomplished in a timely and efficient manner once the necessary regulatory approvals have been confirmed and production can be scaled up accordingly.”

He concluded: “AAPA calls on governments to redouble their efforts to work cooperatively with other governments and industry stakeholders to safely restart international air travel.

“New ICAO guidance materials developed in conjunction with WHO, CDC and ECDC, recommend incorporating harmonised testing as part of a multi-layered and risk-managed approach to facilitate international air transport.”

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