Preliminary traffic figures for the month of October released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) revealed that growth in international air passenger demand remained encouraging, whilst soft air cargo market conditions persisted.
Demand for air cargo shipments fell slightly in October, on the back of continued weakness in export-import activities in major regional economies, including China, India and Japan.
Measured in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, air cargo demand edged 0.7 per cent lower from the same month last year. The average international freight load factor fell further, registering a 2.2 percentage point contraction to 64.2 per cent for the month after accounting for a 2.7 per cent increase in offered freight capacity.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: “For the January-October period, air cargo demand grew by 2.2%, held back by lacklustre global trade conditions that continue to dampen Asian air cargo markets.
“We’re seeing continuing robust growth in passenger demand, boosted by the prevalence of competitively priced travel options as a result of lower oil prices. The challenge for Asian carriers is how to capture that growth in passenger demand in a highly competitive market, whilst achieving improvements in still thin margins. On the other hand, air cargo markets are expected to remain soft, given weak global trade conditions.”
Taken together, the region’s airlines registered a 6.5% growth in the number of international passengers carried compared to the same month last year, bringing the month’s total to 23.2 million.