Preliminary traffic figures for the month of April released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed encouraging expansion in both international air cargo markets and international air passenger demand, on the back of sustained growth in the global economy.
On the back of strong international demand, business conditions continued to improve across Asian economies, in turn lending support to international trade activity, AAPA said. This helped underpin further growth in air cargo volumes in April, with demand in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms registering a 9.0 per cent increase compared to the same month last year. Offered freight capacity grew more modestly, by 2.8 per cent for the month. As a result, the average international freight load factor increased by 3.7 percentage points to reach 65.1 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: “Asian airlines recorded a solid 9.5 per cent increase in air cargo demand, supported by a pick-up in export orders across the region’s economies.”
Looking ahead, Herdman continued: “Business and consumer confidence indicators remain positive and underpin expectations of continued growth in air passenger and cargo markets in the coming months. However, the impact of rising fuel and staff costs are a concern, particularly as airfares have remained low in an intensely competitive environment. Nevertheless, Asian airlines remain proactive in reviewing their operations, implementing cost-cutting measures and streamlining business processes, with the aim of improving efficiency and sustaining profitability.”
Collectively, the region’s airlines carried an aggregate total of 25.6 million international passengers for the month, representing a 5.3 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.