Asia cargo monthly: Asian airlines see another month of growth in July

Asia’s leading cargo airlines continued to report demand improvements in July, but yields continue to come under pressure.
The latest monthly statistics show that six of seven of the region’s leading airlines saw airfreight demand compared with a year earlier.
This reflects demand figures released by WorldACD last week, which suggest that the Asia Pacific region has regained its crown as the growth engine for air cargo.
The largest cargo carrier in Asia is Cathay Pacific, which saw demand increase by 5.8% year on year in July to 928m cargo and mail tonne km.

The increase was the airline’s biggest of the year so far, but its year-to-date figure for the first seven months is 1.1% behind the 2015 level.
Yields also continue to come under pressure, the airline said.
Cathay Pacific general manager cargo sales & marketing Mark Sutch said: “Helped by strong perishable exports from the Americas, the overall tonnage for July remained healthy, although revenues continue to be affected by dampened yields.
“We saw month-end pick-up and a stronger feed out of our home market and Southeast Asia.
“Demand to both the Americas and India was strong, while we were able to capture more exports out of mainland China due to a reduction in the overall market capacity.
“The business environment remains challenging, but we have seen a growth in demand for special products and we will continue to diversify.”
Cathay also saw its load factor improve, reaching 64.7% compared with 61.8% last year.
The airline that recorded the largest year-on-year demand increase in July was Singapore Airlines Cargo (SIA Cargo), which registered an 11.8% improvement to 568m freight tonne km.
This was the airline’s biggest jump since February last year when it benefitted from strikes at US seaports.
Its load factor improved to 60.7% from 58.4% last year.
China Eastern also continued its run of improvements as July demand increased by 9.7% year on year to 408m revenue freight tonne km (RFTK).
It is the airline’s second increase in cargo demand in a row following on from five months of declines at the start of the year.
Cargo load factor for the month edged up to 51.8% compared with 51.6% last year.

Not far behind China Eastern was China Southern, which recorded a 9.2% improvement in July to reach 511m RFTk.
The improvement from China Southern should be no real surprise as it has seen demand rapidly improve over the last few years.
July’s improvement was its sixth increase of the year so far and follows on from an 11.9% improvement for 2015 as a whole.
Its cargo load factor stood at 52.9% in July compared with 50.6% for the same month last year.
Air China was another airline to see demand improve during July as its volumes increased by 2.1% year on year to 594m revenue freight tonne km.
While the airline has managed to record demand improvements in six of the seven months of the year so far, growth levels lag behind 2015 when traffic improved by 15.2%.
Air China did see load factors decline in July, as there was a slip to 57.3% compared with 57.5% in 2015.
Eva Air was the final airline to record growth in cargo traffic as it witnessed a 1.3% improvement to 311m freight tonne km.
While the increase was one of the smallest registered by the airlines in this report, it is only the second monthly increase recorded by the airline this year and follows on from almost two years of declines.
Load factor at the airline reached 85.4% compared with 82.4% in July last year.
The only airline to register a demand decrease during the month was China Airlines, although this won’t be a surprise.
The decline of 5.6% to 438m FRTK is the airline’s 14th decrease in a row and it now looks inevitable that it will record a full-year demand decrease for 2016.

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