Airfreight demand continued to grow in July, according to preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
Supported by encouraging growth in demand for exports from major regional manufacturing hubs, air cargo growth accelerated in July with a 6.4 percent increase compared to the same month last year. For the third consecutive month, the expansion in capacity lagged growth in demand.
In July, offered freight capacity increased by 3.2 percent, leading to a 2 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 65.3 percent.
During the first seven months of the year, international airfreight demand for Asia Pacific airlines grew by 4.9 percent, “marking a long overdue recovery in trade volumes after several years of weak global demand,” Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said.
“The sustained upward trend in both international passenger and cargo demand is very positive, and reflects continued growth in the emerging markets and a relatively stable global economic outlook,” Herdman said. “Nevertheless, Asia Pacific airlines are still facing very challenging business conditions, with additional capacity placing further downward pressure on fares and yields. As a result, revenue growth has been lackluster, and profitability remains elusive for many of the region’s carriers. Airlines are carefully reviewing their existing fleet deployments and future capacity plans in the light of current market conditions, whilst maintaining tight cost controls. The general outlook for Asian airlines remains positive, but right now, I would say restoring margins is the key focus of management attention across the industry.”