Preliminary traffic figures for the month of April released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed air cargo demand for Asian Pacific carriers progressed at an “encouraging pace” – driven by further expansions in global service and manufacturing sectors.
AAPA said whilst there are signs that international trade flows may be easing, international air cargo demand for the region’s carriers, in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) terms, saw an encouraging 5.8 per cent year-on-year increase in April.
Improvement in client demand within the region, on the back of stronger domestic conditions, aided growth in air cargo markets. After accounting for a 6.6 per cent expansion in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor was 0.5 percentage points lower at 64.1 per cent for the month.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said: “The global economy is still on a solid footing, with growth in most sectors, including technology and consumer goods. Accordingly, business and consumer sentiment remained relatively positive, underpinning further growth in passenger travel and air cargo demand.”
He said in the first four months of the year, Asia Pacific airlines registered 5.7 per cent growth during the same period, on top of the strong 9.6 per cent annual increase recorded in 2017.
Looking ahead, Herdman said, “Sustained growth in the region and the wider global economic expansion lends credence to a positive market outlook for the remainder of the year. However, operating conditions remain challenging, with airlines still facing intense competition and the pressure of sharply higher fuel costs, up more than 30 per cent compared to last year.
“The region’s carriers continue to explore avenues for further growth, whilst implementing pro-active measures to control costs and achieve further operational efficiencies.”