Following years of tepid performance, air cargo demand across Asia Pacific registered its strongest growth in years, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) says.
Freight tonne kilometres (FTK) grew by 9.8 per cent to 70.8 billion, the fastest growth rate since the post financial crisis rebound in 2010, and up considerably on 2016, when FTKs grew 1.8 per cent.
Growth in demand outpaced capacity, which grew 4.4 per cent to 108.6 billion freight available tonne kilometres (FATK), with load factors improving 3.2 percentage points to 65.2 per cent.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says: “Asian airlines enjoyed solid increases in air cargo volumes through the year, with continued improvements in business conditions boosting trade activity as demand was transmitted through regional supply chains.”
In December, FTKs were up 7.5 per cent to 6.4 billion, FATKs increased 5.6 per cent to 9.6 billion and load factors rose 1.2 percentage points to 66.4 per cent.
Looking ahead, Herdman says: “The outlook for the year ahead is broadly positive, as the increase in new orders and recent pick-up in business investments are expected to enhance the sustainability of the global economic upswing.”