The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) released preliminary traffic figures indicating a 6.5% year-on-year decline in air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometers for September. According to the AAPA, the decline reflects stagnant international trade activity on the back of continued weakness in external demand.
The average international freight load factor for the month fell 4.0 percentage points to 60.4%, after accounting for a marginal 0.3% decline in offered freight capacity.
Over the first nine months of the year, Asian airlines recorded a 5.8% fall in demand, thanks to the continued trade war between China and the U.S. Speaking on the trade war, AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said that the “unresolved trade frictions have undermined business confidence and disrupted global supply chains.”
AAPA said Asian carriers are currently practicing prudence in managing capacity expansion, exercising cost discipline and streamlining ops, which can be expected to continue in the coming months. “Operating conditions are challenging for Asian carriers, which face intense competitive pressures against a backdrop of moderating economic sentiment,” Herdman concluded.