Asia Pacific carriers see moderate but positive cargo growth in March

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April 27, 2018: The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) recently released results for the month of March reflecting increase in the number of passengers as well as cargo carried by the region’s airlines. 

Passenger traffic saw strong 10.6 percent increase while air cargo demand showed moderate but still positive growth.

Broad-based expansion in the global economy continued to spur business and leisure travel demand, as reflected in the strong in the number of passengers carried by the region’s airlines to a combined total of 30.4 million in March. 

Meanwhile, international air cargo demand in March, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), increased by 2.8 percent year-on-year. Air cargo demand on routes within the region, as well as traffic to and from the region remained encouraging, underpinned by demand for transportation of both intermediate goods and consumer products including strong growth in e-commerce shipments. 

Andrew Herdman, director general, AAPA said, “International air cargo demand remained robust during the same period, achieving 5.9 percent growth, building further on last year’s very strong cargo performance.”

“Growth across advanced and emerging market economies was maintained in the first quarter of the year, driven by positive business and consumer sentiment. Correspondingly, world trade activity continued to expand, underpinned by increased investments and higher manufacturing output in the region, in response to increased new business orders. These positive factors continued to support growth in both air passenger and cargo demand for Asian airlines.”

Looking ahead, Herdman said, “The market outlook for Asian carriers remains positive, given continued availability of affordable air fares and increasing numbers of new destinations connecting travellers.”

Herdman added, “Asian carriers overall saw a significant improvement in earnings performance last year, on the back of the strong growth in air passenger and air cargo demand. However, the airline operating environment remains challenging, with competitive pressures including higher fuel prices and labour expenses. Asia Pacific airlines therefore remain focused in striving for cost efficiencies and productivity improvements whilst seeking avenues for further growth.”

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