Preliminary traffic figures for the month of July released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that falling exports and a worsening trade outlook led to further weakness in air cargo markets.
Mounting trade tensions, alongside deteriorating business confidence levels contributed to further declines in orders for goods. Against this backdrop, the region’s airlines registered a 7.7 per cent fall in air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in July.
The markedly lower demand, coupled with almost flat expansion in offered freight capacity, by 0.4 per cent, led to a 5.2 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor, to 58.9 per cent for the month.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said: “Global trade conditions deteriorated further, as higher tariffs disrupted global supply chains, and Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand fall by 6.2% during the first seven months of the year. The weakness in air cargo markets is likely to extend into the coming months, unless we see some meaningful progress in trade negotiations.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said: “The outlook for air passenger travel demand is still broadly positive, but with growth slowing, the region’s airlines are facing an increasingly challenging operating environment.”