AAPA: Asia Pacific sees marginal growth in 2015

A Singapore Airlines Cargo Boeing 747-400F

Airlines in Asia Pacific have seen cargo volumes grow 1.6 per cent in 2015, with a strong start of the year making up for weakness from the middle, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Freight tonne kilometres (FTK) increased from 63.9 billion in 2014 to 64.9 billion in 2015. In 2015, capacity in available FTK (AFTK) increased by 3.5 per cent to 101.8 billion, while the load factor fell by 1.3 percentage points to 63.7 per cent.

AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says this cargo weakness comes despite passenger travel proving strong. He says: “Asian regional travel demand grew solidly, despite slowing economic growth and regional currency weakness. Less optimistically, air cargo markets saw only marginal growth for the year 2015, a reflection of the slowdown in global trade.”

Herdman says airlines benefitted from falling oil prices but profitability will remain an issue in 2016. “Airline profitability was also affected by currency volatility, and variations in individual fuel hedging policies, among other factors … Asian airlines are closely monitoring market developments, whilst continuing to invest in future growth opportunities.”

In December, AAPA saw FTK fall by 0.3 per cent to just under 5.6 billion, while AFTK 2.1 per cent increased by 2.1 per cent to 8.7 billion. The load factor fell by 1.6 percentage points in December to 63.8 per cent.