Soft air cargo market persists for Asia Pacific

Soft air cargo market conditions persisted for Asia Pacific carriers in September while passenger demand showed growth, according to preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

International air cargo demand met by Asia Pacific airlines, expressed in freight tonne kilometers, declined by 2.1 percent in September compared to the same month in 2012 – a continuation of the prolonged weakness seen in the air cargo market for the past 2.5 years.

Offered freight capacity increased marginally, by 0.8 percent, leading to a 1.9 percentage point contraction in the average international freight load factor, to 64.8 percent for the month.

“Asian carriers experienced a 1.7-percent decline in international air cargo demand during the first three quarters of the year, with soft global trading conditions affecting exports from regional manufacturing centers,” Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said. “Air cargo volumes appear to have stabilized over the past few months, but rates remain under pressure due to an overhang of excess freighter capacity. Whilst the continued steady growth in passenger demand is very encouraging, Asian airlines are still facing a challenging operating environment, marked by competitive pressures on yields and margins.”

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