Asia Pacific passengers surge but freight falls back
30 / 06 / 2022
By Chris Lewis
Cargo traffic carried by Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) members fell 5.6% in May 2022 compared with May 2021.
AAPA blamed supply chain disruptions and slowing demand, leading to a year-on-year decline in freight tonne kilometres in May. Meanwhile, offered freight capacity expanded by 1% year-on-year compared to the same month last year, which led to a 4.8 percentage point decline in the international load factor to an average of 69.4% for the month.
This was in marked contrast to passenger carryings which increased five fold over May 2021 to 7.3m, and with demand rising to 23.6% of the figure recorded in May 2019, before the pandemic.
AAPA director general Subhas Menon, said: “The Covid 19 pandemic has transformed the world in many ways. Yet, what hasn’t changed is people’s desire to travel, as evidenced by the strong uplift in international travel upon the lifting of border control measures across the region.”
But he added, “On the other hand, after a buoyant 2021, air cargo demand is facing some headwinds with export orders facing downward pressures, driven by waning business confidence levels amid an increasingly cloudy global economic outlook.”
Menon also warned: “As the region’s airlines emerge from the deepest and most prolonged crisis ever faced, keeping a lid on costs remains vital, as escalating fuel expenditure, higher labour and maintenance costs, on top of substantially heavier debt burdens, threaten to undermine the already fragile financial recovery. In addition, airlines face increasing operational constraints as air transport strives to keep up with the ramp-up in demand.”