Asia’s airfreight market continued to burnish its reputation as the global breadwinner last month, with preliminary traffic figures for October showing a 5.8 percent rise, year-over-year, once again showing healthy growth in international air cargo markets.
The air cargo increase for airlines from the Asia-Pacific region, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), came about, in part, from the “sustained upturn in global trade for consumer and intermediate goods,” according to the latest report from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. AAPA also said that these results were especially noteworthy, given “the high base levels recorded in the same month last year,” a 7.1 percent, y-o-y, increase.
Capacity for AAPA carriers expanded by 4.1 percent, however demand outstripped new aircraft entering the market, resulting in a 1.1-percentage-point increase in the average international freight load factor to 66.9 percent for the month.
International air cargo traffic demand grew by a “robust 10.1 percent” over the first ten months of 2017, said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, well ahead of last year’s FTK growth of 1.8 percent, y-o-y.
Herdman added that AAPA-member airlines have responded by strengthening their networks, offering additional frequencies and adding new destinations. “At the same time, the rise in global economic activity has seen a sustained pickup in global trade and transportation of manufactured goods, with air cargo playing an important role in restocking global supply chains and the growth of e-commerce. As a result, Asian airlines continued to enjoy healthy growth in the air cargo segment, maintaining the broad upswing in demand, which began in the latter half of 2016.”
Herdman concluded that overall demand outlook remains positive, but cautioned that Asian airlines are operating in “highly competitive markets and face rising cost pressures, with average jet-fuel prices up 24 percent to US$64 per barrel for the first ten months of the year.”