Asian airlines see strong growth in freight traffic in August

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September 26, 2017: Asia-Pacific Airlines have seen strong 12.2 percent increase in air cargo demand in August as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), according to the traffic figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). The increase was mainly due to the firm demand for manufactured products, particularly pharmaceutical goods and technological equipment.

The growth in air cargo volumes significantly out-paced the 5.6 percent expansion in offered freight capacity, leading to a 3.8 percentage point rise in the average international freight load factor to 64.1 percent for the month.

The month saw the region's airlines record a 5.6 percent increase in the number of international air passengers carried to a combined total of 27.8 million, boosted by a combination of higher leisure travel demand during the holiday season as well as travel for business purposes.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, director general, AAPA, said, "Asian airlines were encouraged by the continued expansion in both international air passenger and cargo markets, registering a 5.2 percent increase in the number of international air passengers carried to a combined total of 210 million for the first eight months of the year. During the same period, international air cargo markets saw a robust 10.6 percent increase in freight traffic carried by Asian airlines."

Herdman added, "The sustained growth in air traffic demand has clearly been positive for the sector. Nevertheless, against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment marked by highly competitive air fares and rising costs, Asian carriers are continuing to work hard to improve profitability, with considerable variations in individual airline performance, both globally and within the region."

Looking ahead, Herdman continued, "Broad-based expansion in global economic output should help to sustain further growth in both air passenger and air cargo traffic demand in the upcoming months, and the longer term outlook remains broadly positive."

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