Weak April for air cargo in Asia Pacific
25 / 05 / 2016
Asia Pacific air cargo markets remained weak in April, failing to keep pace with rising passenger demand, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
April saw the region’s airlines carry 24.2m international passengers, a 4.8% increase compared to the same month last year, on the back of continued strong regional demand.
By contrast, said AAPA, air cargo demand was “flat”, with volumes in freight tonne km (FTK) terms similar to those registered in the same month last year.
The AAPA stated: “Expansion in available freight capacity continued to outpace the growth in demand. As a result, the average freight load factor for the region’s carriers fell by 1.7 percentage points to 61.7%, after accounting for a 2.8% expansion in offered freight capacity.”
Earlier this month, global airline association IATA reported that Asia-Pacific carriers saw a 5.2% drop in demand in March 2016 compared to the same month last year. The decline is exaggerated by the effects of last year’s US seaport disruption.
“Nonetheless, demand is weak with export volumes from emerging Asian economies having contracted in annual terms for 11 of the past 12 months,” IATA said at the time.
Commenting on the AAPA results, director general Andrew Herdman said: “International air cargo markets are still weak, with year to date demand registering a 4.8% decline compared to the same period a year ago, reflecting the lacklustre global trade conditions."
Looking ahead, Herdman concluded: "The outlook for air passenger demand is expected to remain positive, even though there are uncertainties regarding the global economic outlook. Accordingly, although the region’s airlines are cautiously optimistic about further growth, they are at the same time continuing to focus attention on disciplined cost management efforts throughout the business."