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Asia's March air cargo demand disappoints

International air cargo demand remained weak in March, according to figures released Friday by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

"During the first quarter of the year, Asia Pacific airlines saw international passenger numbers increase by an encouraging 5.7 percent compared to last year, but international freight demand fell 4 percent during the same period,” Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said. “Whilst international passenger demand continues to be underpinned by solid economic growth within the Asia Pacific region, international airfreight demand remains soft, reflecting continuing weakness in key export markets.”

Asia Pacific carriers reported a 3.1 percent decline in international air cargo demand compared to March 2012. Combined with a 2.1 percent reduction in offered freight capacity, the average international cargo load factor fell by 0.6 percentage points to 69.2 percent.

"The gradual recovery in the global economy should support further growth in passenger demand, and hopes of some modest improvement in world trade conditions could see air cargo markets picking up later this year," Herdman said.