Lacklustre cargo dampened Asia Pacific carriers

WEAK airfreight markets contributed to a 55 per cent plunge in 2013 net earnings for Asia Pacific airlines to $2.5bn.
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines said that full year profitability succumbed to widespread yield pressures arising from stiff market competition and “lacklustre air cargo demand”.
AAPA’s preliminary financial performance figures show that cargo revenue declined by 4.6 per cent to $20.2bn, caused by “persistently soft global trading conditions, which in turn affected demand for air freighted goods manufactured in Asia”.
International passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger km, grew by 6.3 per cent during 2013, whereas International freight tonne km suffered a 1.2 per cent decline.
AAPA director general Andrew Herdman says: "Intense competition in both the passenger and air cargo business segments led to pressure on fares, and weaker Asian currencies adversely affected costs, even more so for airlines with significant exposure to foreign denominated debt."
On the market outlook, Herdman cautioned that Asian carriers still face a difficult operating environment but adds: “Overall, however, prospects for a further pick-up in the global economy and expectations of a cyclical upswing in international trade should give some grounds for optimism."
Collectively, the AAPA region airlines carry 18m tonnes of freight annually, representing an estimated 40 per cent of global air cargo traffic.

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