AAPA: Volumes keep falling in March

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Cargo volumes in Asia Pacific fell by 5.3 per cent in March despite Chinese exports picking up following the Lunar New Year, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) says.

Freight tonne kilometres were down by 5.3 per cent in March to 5.6 billion and so far this year have fallen by 6.5 per cent to just under 15 billion. The start of 2015 had received a boost due to the US West Coast seaport disruption, which cleared by the end of the first quarter, but cargo in Asia Pacific has proved weak since then.

Cargo’s struggles are in contrast to passenger numbers, which are growing strongly. AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says: “During the first quarter of the year, Asia Pacific airlines saw international passenger numbers increase by a solid 7.5% to an aggregate total of 72.8 million.”

“However, international air cargo demand remained soft, with volumes declining by 6.5% compared to the same period a year ago, reflecting the general slowdown in global trade.”

Despite the fall in volumes, capacity in available freight tonne kilometres keeps increasing, rising by 2.6 per cent to 8.9 billion in March and 2.1 per cent to 25.1 billion in the first quarter.

Load factors keep falling, down 5.2 percentage points in March to 62.9 per cent and 5.4 percentage points to 59.6 per cent in the first quarter.