Asian carriers report double-digit percentage improvement in demand for March

Asian airlines reported double-digit percentage improvements in cargo demand in March as manufacturing in the region continued to expand.
The latest figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that cargo demand increased by 12.7% in March in freight tonne km (FTK) terms.
The association said the “healthy” increase was helped by manufacturing production of major Asian economies expanding at a steady pace, on the back of a continued rise in new business orders
“This helped support export-import activity, in turn benefitting the air cargo sector,” the AAPA said.
AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said: “Air cargo markets experienced a strong start to the year, with a firm 9.6% increase during the first quarter of 2017.
“Elevated consumer and business confidence levels in some developed and emerging market economies translated into increased orders, thus supporting demand for airfreight shipments.
"The outlook for air passenger and cargo markets remains positive, against the backdrop of a broad upturn in global economic conditions.
“However, the airline operating environment has become increasingly challenging, with oil prices off historic lows, and increasing cost pressures due to rising input costs. Asia Pacific carriers will continue to strive for cost efficiencies whilst launching new destinations and maintaining customer service innovation."
While demand during the month improved by a double-digit percentage, capacity increased by 3% and as a result airlines in the region saw average cargo load factors improve to 67.6% for the month against 61.8% last year.

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