Asia Pacific airlines report fall in cargo volumes in Sept as demand weakens

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Oct 31, 2019: Asia Pacific airlines have reported 6.5 percent year-on-year decline in air cargo demand in September.

As it released its September traffic figures, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) tells us through a statement that the decline is due to continued weakness in external demand.

Combined with the marginal 0.3 percent decline in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor dropped by 4.0 percentage points to 60.4 percent for the month.

While, the region’s airlines carried 29.1 million international passengers in September, an increase of 3.0 percent compared to the same month last year.

The demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), grew by 3.4 percent whilst available seat capacity expanded by 4.4 percent.

Andrew Herdman, director general, AAPA said: “The moderation in growth, compared to the higher rates sustained over recent years, reflects an increasingly challenging economic environment.”

“Meanwhile, unresolved trade frictions have undermined business confidence and disrupted global supply chains.

The first three-quarter results reflected demand for passenger services while drop in cargo demand.

Asian airlines saw overall demand for air cargo fall by 5.8 percent year-on-year for the first nine months of the year. During the same period, Asian airlines in aggregate carried 281 million international passengers, 4.3 percent more than the same period last year.

According to AAPA, operating conditions are challenging for Asian carriers as they face intense competitive pressures against a backdrop of moderating economic sentiment.

However, airlines are carefully managing capacity expansion, exercising cost discipline, and streamlining operations in a bid to maintain profitability, added AAPA.

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