Asian cargo numbers up for June after weak 2016 start

Preliminary June traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) provided a rare bright spot in an otherwise dour few weeks of reports. Air cargo demand among Asian carriers last month saw modest growth for the first time since the start of the year, growing by 4.1 percent, year-over-year, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK).

Available freight capacity was up by 3.6 percent for the month, compared to June 2015, yet there was still a 0.3 percentage-point increase in the average international freight load factor, registering 63.6 percent for the month.

June’s numbers were not enough to offset a sluggish half year, however. According to the trade association’s data, available FTKs for the first half were up 2.3 percent. However, actual FTKs were down 2.5 percent, y-o-y, and carriers’ freight load factors were down 3 percentage points.

Andrew Herdman, AAPA’s director general, said, “international air cargo demand remained subdued, but added that “the uptick in the June figures is mildly encouraging.” Herdman said that, despite a positive outlook for air passenger markets, “the outlook for air cargo remains a concern, reflecting generally weak trading conditions in the global economy.  Asian airlines are focused on meeting the growth in travel demand, investing in new aircraft and services, whilst at the same time vigilantly keeping a tight rein on costs in order to deliver improved levels of profitability.”

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