Preliminary September 2023 traffic figures released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that following 18 consecutive months in decline since March 2022, the region’s carriers recorded an upswing in international air cargo demand in September, with a 3.2% year-on-year growth as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK).
While the increase was in part attributable to comparisons with depressed levels recorded last year, the start of the high demand season leading to the year-end festive period also contributed to growth. The international freight load factor fell by 3.3 percentage points to average 60.6% for the month, after accounting for an 8.8% year-on-year expansion in offered freight capacity.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General said, “During the first nine months of the year, Asian airlines in aggregate carried 194 million international passengers, 212% more than the same period last year, reflecting very strong post-pandemic recovery in demand.
“Air cargo demand turned positive for the first time in 2023 in September, which helped to moderate the decline for the year to date, to 6.4%.
“It is a welcome relief to have both passenger and cargo demand on a positive footing although the fall in export orders seen across major economies still signals challenging market conditions.”