Asia Pacific air cargo markets remained resilient in June as passenger markets continued to be battered by rising infections from the Covid-19 Delta variant which has resulted in further border restrictions, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
International air cargo demand in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) grew by 25.7 per cent year-on-year, with volumes matching the same month in 2019. AAPA says the demand growth was supported by “improved business confidence in the advanced economies, in particular, the United States and Europe”. In particular, demand is surging for intermediate and consumer goods.
Offered freight capacity saw an 11.7 per cent year-on-year increase, leading to an 8.2 percentage point jump in the average international freight load factor to 73.3 per cent for the month.
Commenting on the results, Subhas Menon, AAPA director general said: “The already dire situation has recently been compounded by new COVID-19 infections across the region due to the Delta variant, with ongoing border restrictions holding back any meaningful restart in international travel markets. Air cargo traffic growth, supported by strong demand for both intermediate and consumer goods from the major advanced economies, remains the saving grace.”
Menon added: “Many Asian economies are facing renewed challenges in bringing the pandemic under control and in progressing vaccination roll-outs. Prospects for an early recovery for Asian airlines are dim unless cohesive action is taken by governments to accelerate vaccination roll-outs and reopen borders safely based on ICAO and WHO guidelines.”