Asia Cargo Monthly: Growth slowdown continues in June

27 / 07 / 2018

Asian airlines continued to see cargo growth figures slow in June, despite a pick up towards the end of the month.

Figures released by Cathay Pacific for June show that the Hong Kong-based airline saw cargo traffic increase by 5.5% year on year to 1bn cargo and mail revenue tonne kms.

While this growth figure is ahead of expectations for the overall market of around 4%, it does represent a slowdown on the speed of improvement registered by the airline over the first half of 2018 of 7.3% year on year.

Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam said: “In terms of cargo, tonnage picked up towards end of the month.

“We observed a particular rise in demand on routes to Japan, owing to some capacity tightening in the market, while there was also increased uplift into the US from Hong Kong and mainland China.

“Looking ahead, we are closely monitoring geopolitical developments and their effect on tariff and currency movements, which have the potential to significantly impact both our passenger and cargo businesses.”

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While demand growth slowed during the month, the carrier group did see its cargo load factor reach 70.6% year on year compared with 68.3% a year ago.

It was a similar story at the region’s second busiest cargo carrier, Air China, which saw freight traffic increase by 4% year on year in June to 664m revenue freight tonne kms, which is down on growth over the first six months of the year of 8.4%.

Increases were led by domestic traffic, up 7.8%, while international demand was up 3.1% and regional increased by 2.2%.

The company saw load factors for June decline to 59% compared with 62.8% for the same month last year.

Next up, China Southern recorded cargo growth of 3.1% year on year in June to 632m revenue tonne kms. This was the slowest growth rate recorded by the airline this year and lags behind its year-to-date figure of 4.9%.

The airline also saw its June cargo load factor decline, slipping to 55.3% against 57.5% last year.

Singapore Airlines had possibly the toughest month as it recorded a decline in cargo traffic of 6.1% against growth of 0.4% for the year.

The only airlines to see an improvement in demand during the month were Eva Air, which recorded growth of 4.8% for June against 2.3% for the first six months, and China Airlines which saw cargo traffic increase by 5.2% compared with a 3.8% increase during the first six months.

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