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Soft cargo market persists for Asia Pacific

By Staff Reports on January 28, 2014

Soft air cargo market conditions in Asia Pacific persisted in 2013, according to preliminary figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

International airfreight demand for Asia Pacific carriers, expressed in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), had a marginal contraction of 0.6 percent in 2013, albeit an improvement from the steeper declines seen in 2012 and 2011.

In spite of the fall in demand, 2013 saw a 1.1 percent expansion in cargo capacity, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 65.4 percent.

Asia Pacific airlines carried 6 percent more passengers in 2013 than in the previous year. 

“Air cargo markets remained subdued in 2013, but picked up towards the end of the year in line with increasing demand for Asian exports in the major developed markets,” Andrew Herdman (pictured above), AAPA director general, said. “Given expectations of a continuing modest improvement in global economic conditions, the outlook for Asian carriers remains broadly positive. Nevertheless, operating margins remain compressed as a result of weak cargo revenues and other competitive pricing pressures. Airlines are responding by investing in newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft, other productivity improvements and value-added service enhancements.”