Peak season sees improved traffic for Asia-Pacific carriers

Chelsea Toczauer

Many of the major Asia-Pacific airlines have now reported their results for November 2019 cargo traffic, demonstrating mixed results for the month. Most of these carriers continued to see lackluster performance compared to the same period in 2018 as a result of U.S.-China trade tensions over the past few months.

However, stakeholders have told Air Cargo World that they are cautiously hopeful of seeing an ease in tariffs and increase in volumes over the coming year. Month-over-month improvements for most Asian carriers tracked here also signal peak season is well underway, despite continued global trade uncertainty. For many carriers reporting November statistics, the month was the busiest so far, year-to-date.

To consider November results on a carrier-by-carrier basis:

Cathay Pacific Group reported November traffic down 5.8% year-over-year to 1.0 billion FTKs, a figure that month-to-month was flat. Year-to-date, Cathay’s traffic is 6.8% lower compared to the first eleven months of 2018, at 10.3 billion FTKs.

Singapore Airlines reported November cargo traffic down 7.2% y-o-y to 604 million FTKs – a slight increase month-to-month and an improvement from November, which registered 570 million FTKs. Capacity was cut by 1.5%, but this did not prevent a drop in load factors. Every region registered declines in load factors, except the Americas. Year-to-date, cargo traffic is down 7.0% to 6.5 billion FTKs.

Air China Cargo’s traffic for November dropped 4.0% y-o-y to 402 million FTKs. Overall tonnage decreased 1.2% to about 126,000 tonnes. Year-to-date, traffic remains 3.9% lower, at 4.4 billion FTKs.

China Southern’s November cargo traffic jumped 8% to 699 million FTKs on stronger international traffic in November. Year-to-date through November, traffic is nearly flat at 6.9 billion FTKs.

EVA Air’s cargo traffic, measured in FTKs, slid 1.7% year-over-year for the month of November to 295 million FTKs – the carrier’s third busiest month of the year after August and October. Year-to-date through November, EVA’s cargo traffic is down 7.0 % year-over-year. Yields are down 9.9% y-o-y but are up month-to-month.

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