September figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show steady growth in air freight demand.
The ongoing pick up in international trade saw further growth in exports from key Asian manufacturing centres, helping to underpin a 5.3 per cent increase in international air freight demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK). Combined with a 4 per cent growth in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor edged 0.8 percentage points higher to 64.1 per cent for the month.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said, “Sustained by regional economic growth, the first nine months of the year saw a healthy 4.6 per cent increase in the number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines to a combined total of 190.6 million. During the same period, air freight demand grew by 5.1 per cent, continuing the positive momentum seen since the market bottomed out in the fourth quarter of 2013.”
“Whilst we are seeing sustained growth in both passenger travel and air cargo demand, market conditions remain quite challenging. Passenger load factors have fallen back as a result of capacity outpacing the underlying growth in demand, maintaining downward pressure on yields. Asian airlines are carefully reviewing their operations to better match supply and demand on a route by route basis, with the aim of ensuring that further traffic growth helps to restore profitability,” Herdman added.