Air cargo demand pick up down to extra weekend and Easter changes

The improvement in air cargo demand experienced in April was down to an extra weekend falling in the month and an earlier Easter holiday.
Analyst WorldACD said that the 2.5% year on year improvement in air cargo demand in demand in April appeared to give cause for a little optimism.
However, it added: “This year, April counted five Fridays and Saturdays, traditionally good air cargo days, whilst last year it had only four.
“On top of that, the month did not suffer from a negative ‘Easter-effect’, as it had done last year. Our best estimate is that these two differences in the April-pattern may be accountable for most of the year-on-year volume growth.”
The overall trends were similar to the rest of the year; Africa and Europe were the areas with the strongest improvement in demand in weight terms, up by 6.9% and 6.3% respectively.
North America registered a drop in demand but yields from the continent held up better than those in other parts of the world.
“Interestingly, while volumes ex-China increased by considerably more than volumes from most other countries in Asia Pacific, year-on-year yields from China were suffering again,” WorldACD said.
“Hong Kong and Shenzhen had negative year-on-year volume growth in April. What we found most telling, however, is the continuing strong yield deterioration from Hong Kong, to Europe and North America in particular.”
The analyst said that the transport of perishables and pharmaceutical products were propping up air cargo performance, with general cargo volumes increasing by 1.4% but perishables up by 4.8% and pharma products up by 12.3%.
“North America was the top grower in perishables (+14%), in which South America, a traditional powerhouse in this category, has been losing market share in the last few months.
“The Middle East & South Asia (MESA) continued to eat into the lead of Europe (16.6% vs. 7.3% growth).”

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