Asia Pacific Airlines see 2014 revival in cargo demand

Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) preliminary figures for 2014 show an “encouraging revival” in cargo demand after three consecutive years of decline.
An upsurge in exports from manufacturing hubs in the region led to a rebound in international air cargo markets in 2014, with demand in freight tonne km (FTK) growing by a "solid" 5.4 per cent compared to the previous year.
Available freight capacity grew at a relatively modest pace of 4.1 per cent, resulting in a 0.8 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 64.9 per cent.
Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: "Despite challenges, Asia Pacific airlines enjoyed a year of good growth in international passenger traffic in 2014.
“Air cargo markets experienced a welcome upswing in 2014, with the second half of the year registering 6.0 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2013, following several years of stagnant demand."
Herdman added: "The dramatic fall in oil prices since the end of the year has been welcomed by many airlines, although the resultant benefit in terms of improved profitability will vary depending on individual airline hedging policies and their degree of exposure to external debt, given the weaker Asian currencies."
Looking ahead, Herdman concluded: "Overall, the outlook for the coming year remains broadly positive, with sustained growth in the global economy continuing to drive air travel demand, whilst lower oil prices will also help to keep air travel affordable.
“However, airlines will need to closely monitor market movements, and align future capacity increases with the actual increase in demand, whilst seeking further operating efficiencies to restore margins to more sustainable levels."
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