Continued weakness in cargo markets: AAPA

Preliminary traffic figures for the month of April released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed ongoing weakness in international air cargo markets while growth in international air passenger numbers continues, bolstered by regional travel.


Continued weakness in cargo markets: AAPA


Preliminary traffic figures for the month of April released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed ongoing weakness in international air cargo markets while growth in international air passenger numbers continues, bolstered by regional travel. Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region saw international air cargo traffic, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), register a 7.6 per cent decline compared to the same month last year, reflecting continued weakness in demand. Even with a 4.8 per cent reduction in offered freight capacity, the average international air cargo load factor fell by two percentage points, to 66.3 per cent for the month. “International air freight markets remain depressed, with Asian airlines recording an overall 4.8 per cent decline in cargo traffic for the first four months of the year, exerting further downward pressure on rates, despite reductions in offered freight capacity,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general. These same carriers saw a 12.2 per cent increase in the number of international passengers carried in April year-on-year, rising to 17.2 million. In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger demand grew by 10.1 per cent, reflecting significantly stronger demand on regional routes. With traffic growth outpacing an 8.5 per cent increase in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor was 76.3 per cent, 1.1 percentage points higher than in the same month last year. Herdman added: “We’re still seeing welcome growth in passenger demand, but airline profit margins have suffered as a result of the weak cargo market, and the impact of stubbornly high oil prices. Although key Asian economies are still performing relatively well, the operating environment remains challenging, clouded by uncertainties over prospects for the global economy.”