Preliminary traffic figures for the month of July released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed air cargo demand remained firm despite moderating expansion in the global services and manufacturing sectors.
In July, international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), AAPA said it recorded an encouraging five per cent increase compared with the same month last year and consumer confidence so far seems “relatively unaffected by the political rhetoric” including threats of protectionist measures.
The average international freight load factor declined by 0.5 percentage points to 64.4 per cent for the month, following a 5.9 per cent expansion in offered freight capacity.
AAPA Director General, Andrew Herdman said: “The solid pattern of growth seen in the first half of the year continued into the month of July, with Asian airlines reporting further increases in both international passenger traffic and air cargo volumes, sustained by broad-based growth in the global economy.”
He said during the first seven months of the year air cargo demand remained relatively robust, growing by 5.1 per cent on top of the “strong performance” last year.
Looking ahead, Herdman said: “For the upcoming months, the global economic outlook remains positive, despite some concern that uncertainties over future trade policy could undermine business confidence internationally.
“On a more positive note, both the United States and China have announced expansionary fiscal measures, which should stimulate domestic demand in the advanced and emerging market economies, and hopefully mitigate any adverse impact from new tariff barriers.
“Adapting to changes in consumer trends in a dynamic marketplace, Asian airlines are growing revenue through new product and service offerings. At the same time, airlines are making further improvements to operational efficiency in a bid to manage costs and maintain profitability.”