E-commerce volumes during the peak festive season helped keep the growth in international air cargo demand on the positive side in November, up 0.1 per cent year-on-year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). The small growth figure represents the matching of the strong demand recorded during the same month in the previous year.
Offered freight capacity increased by 5.9 per cent leading to a 3.8 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 65.2 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general says: “The moderation in export activity with slowing business orders, contributed to the slowdown in air cargo growth for the month, although this was mitigated by higher volumes of e-commerce shipments going into the end-year festive season.
Overall, the region’s airlines recorded a cumulative 4.3 per cent increase in air cargo demand during the first eleven months of the year, a reasonably solid growth rate following the exceptionally strong 9.6 per cent annual increase recorded in 2017.”
Looking ahead, Herdman adds: “Overall prospects remain relatively positive. Continued moderate growth in the global economy and lowered oil prices should support further expansion in air travel demand and air cargo markets in the coming year, although the recent deterioration in trade sentiment and uncertainties over the potential impact on consumer confidence levels present some downside risks.
“Overall, Asian airlines continue to exercise vigilance in monitoring any changes in market conditions, whilst seeking growth opportunities.”
The region’s airlines carried a combined total of 29.0 million international passengers in November 2018, representing a 6.2 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.