AAPA sees positives for regional air cargo

Eastern Asian carriers report 3.8 per cent rise in freight tonne kilometres

AAPA sees positives for regional air cargo
Increased confidence is seen driving air freight and passenger numbers


More evidence of an up-tick in the air cargo sector has emerged with Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) figures showing growth in traffic.

Boosted by stronger export markets, east- and south-east Asian carriers registered a 6.7 per cent increase in international freight demand as measured in freight tonne kilometre terms.

Offered freight capacity grew 5.9 per cent, and consequently the average international air cargo load factor for Asia Pacific carriers edged 0.5 percentage points higher to 68.4 per cent, the first increase seen in over a year.

AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman sees positive sentiment driving both passenger and air freight demand.

"For the first quarter of the year, international passenger numbers grew by 5.6 per cent to an aggregate total of 62 million, as a result of generally positive business and consumer sentiment in most markets," he says.

"During the same period, international freight markets saw an encouraging 3.8 per cent growth in traffic, with further evidence of a pick-up in international trade, leading to stronger demand for Asian exports."

Looking ahead, Herdman sees Asian carriers continuing to face a "challenging operating environment marked by increased competition pressuring yields", whilst on the cost side, many carriers have been adversely affected by volatile currency markets.

"Nevertheless, the overall demand outlook remains broadly positive, driven by expectations of further improvements to global economic conditions including a long awaited recovery in international trading activity," he says.

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