AAPA paints grim picture for air cargo demand

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July was the 17th consecutive month of demand decline as consumers turned from goods to services and capacity grew, said the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Preliminary July 2023 traffic figures released by the AAPA show demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), fell by 0.6% year-on-year in July, marking the seventeenth consecutive month of decline.  

The ongoing restoration of flights led to an increase in belly-hold cargo space, contributing to an 8.4% expansion in offered freight capacity.  As a result, the average international freight load factor declined by 5.5 percentage points to 60.9% for the month. 

The AAPA said that “international air cargo markets remained under pressure, amid prevailing weakness in global trade activity”.

Subhas Menon, AAPA director general said the cargo market “slid further reflecting the distinct shift in exports from goods to services.  Amidst a weakness in demand for both consumer and intermediate goods, Asian airlines experienced an 8.4% drop in international air cargo demand during the first seven months of the year”.

Meanwhile, the passenger market has seen further growth, aided by the gradual relaxation of travel restrictions by China, the region’s largest passenger market.

Overall, 27.2 million international passengers were carried by Asia Pacific airlines in July, a robust 146.6% increase compared to the same month last year.  

Measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), demand rose by 107.6% year-on-year.

Asia Pacific air cargo demand hit by consumer spending shift and higher prices

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]