Turning to the preliminary traffic figures for the month of February released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), the data showed strong growth in both international air passenger and air cargo markets.
International air cargo demand, as measured in FTK, registered a hefty 20.5 per cent jump in February, outpacing a 12.6 per cent increase in offered freight capacity, which resulted in a 4.2 percentage points increase in the average international freight load factor, to 65.2 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said, “Air freight demand achieved an impressive 12.8 per cent increase during the first two months of the year with robust demand for Asian exports, particularly to North America where the recent port dispute affected some maritime shipping operations.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said, “The demand outlook for Asian carriers remains broadly positive, supported by the benefits of lower oil prices. Nevertheless, Asian airlines are having to carefully match capacity growth with actual demand, whilst coping with the effects of increased currency volatility affecting both costs and revenues.”
Prior to announcing updated traffic figures, Herdman expressed condolences to all those affected by the loss of Germanwings flight 4U9525 on 24 March 2015: “Flying is extraordinarily safe, and part of everyday modern life, but this only deepens the sense of shock we all experience following any major accident. With heavy hearts, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all the passengers and crew members who lost their lives in this tragedy.”