‘Firm’ October for Asia Pacific cargo demand

Preliminary traffic figures for October show continued growth in Asia Pacific air cargo demand.
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) data indicates that international air freight demand, as measured in freight tonne km (FTK), grew by a "firm" 6.4% in October, on the back of buoyant demand for electronic goods from manufacturing hubs in North Asia.
Combined with a "more modest" 3.8% increase in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor climbed 1.5 percentage points to average 66.4% for the month.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: "During the first ten months of the year, Asia Pacific airlines carried a combined total of 212.5m international passengers, an increase of 4.8% compared to the same period last year.
“Air freight markets grew by 5.1% within the same period. Generally positive regional economic conditions and trade gains provided support for continued growth in both passenger and cargo market segments."
Herdman added: "Whilst the longer term demand outlook is positive, Asian airlines continue to grapple with numerous challenges, including persistent yield pressures arising from intense market competition and signs of overcapacity, which has led to tight profit margins.
“With fuel being the single largest cost item for airlines, the recent decline in oil prices, if sustained, has been perceived as a welcome reprieve. However, in a highly competitive market, the impact on the bottom-line will depend on individual carriers’ fuel hedging policies.
“Overall, Asian carriers remain positive on the outlook for further growth, but are still carefully controlling costs in a bid to restore profitability to more sustainable levels."

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