HONG KONG: Asia-Pac cargo surge good news for carriers

The pre-Christmas cargo surge out of Asia, driven in large part by low inventory levels provided welcome relief to a number of cargo carriers, including Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair, who collectively carried a total of 144,000 tonnes of cargo and mail in December, up 25 per cent on the same month in 2008 […]


The pre-Christmas cargo surge out of Asia, driven in large part by low inventory levels provided welcome relief to a number of cargo carriers, including Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair, who collectively carried a total of 144,000 tonnes of cargo and mail in December, up 25 per cent on the same month in 2008 when air cargo volumes were in free-fall.

A new round of air cargo figures for December has been released by the major airlines, showing the beneficial effects of the upturn experienced in the Asia Pacific region.

Their collective cargo and mail load factor rose by 15.7 percentage points to 78.6 per cent, while capacity for the month in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres, was down 3.3 per cent. For 2009 as a whole, tonnage fell by 7.1 per cent against a capacity reduction of 13.1 per cent.

European carriers also benefited from the last minute rush with British Airways World Cargo reporting a 7.2 per cent rise in cargo tonne kilometres in December compared with a year earlier.

Air France-KLM also saw a marked improvement of 17.4 points in its Asia network load factor to 80.1 per cent in December. The re-stocking phenomenon was clearly evident in its Asia to Europe flights which recorded a 93.9 per cent load factor for the month. Overall AFKLM saw its load factor improve 8.4 percentage points to 70.1 per cent. For the full year to November, cargo volumes were down 19 per cent.