Preliminary traffic figures for the month of July released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed continuing weakening in air cargo demand and further robust growth in international passenger numbers.
Air freight markets, on the other hand, softened in July reflecting a slowdown in world trade activity and weakening demand for Asian exports. Measured in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, air cargo demand registered a 2.2 per cent decline compared to the same month last year. Offered freight capacity increased by 2.9 per cent, leading to a 3.2 percentage point fall in the average international freight load factor to 62.1 per cent for the month.
Asian carriers transported 23.7 million international passengers in July, a 6.5 per cent increase compared to the same month last year
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: “On the freight side of the business, air cargo demand began the year quite strongly but has lost momentum as a result of a slowdown in global trade and weaker demand for Asian exports.
For the January – July period, the region’s carriers reported a 3.5 per cent increase in international air cargo demand, down from the 5.3 per cent growth recorded in 2014.”
Herdman added: “Consumers are enjoying the benefits of lower oil prices, including access to a wide range of affordable airfares, which are helping to drive the sustained growth in travel demand.
“Asian airlines are focused on meeting that growth in demand, whilst achieving further cost savings and operational efficiencies to deliver improved levels of profitability to support future investment. Whilst demand for air travel remains robust, the weak cargo markets highlight some wider concerns about downside risks to the global macroeconomic outlook, including the effects of slower growth in China, exaggerated currency movements and stock market volatility, that could affect both business confidence and consumer demand going forward.”