Despite protectionist rhetoric and the risk of trade wars, air cargo demand continues to grow at encouraging rates, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reports.
Airlines in the region saw freight tonne kilometres increasing 4.9 per cent in May to 6.1 billion, though capacity in available freight tonne kilometres increased at a higher rate, up 7.2 per cent to 9.5 billion, pushing load factors down 1.3 percentage points to 64.2 per cent.
The region’s economies enjoyed a firm increase in new orders during the month on the back of a broader upturn across the region, with stronger demand for manufactured goods supporting further growth in air cargo demand.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says: “Global economic expansion remained relatively solid, marked by a pick-up in business activity in major advanced economies, particularly the United States, and sustained growth in the leading Asian economies.”
He adds: “Whilst the increase in new orders across the region is still quite encouraging, the recent escalation in protectionist rhetoric could potentially undermine confidence and destabilise global trade flows.”
In the first five months of 2018, freight tonne kilometres increased by 5.4 per cent to 29.1 billion, available freight tonne kilometres were up 6.9 per cent to 46.4 billion and load factors were down 0.9 percentage points to 62.4 per cent.