Asia Pacific slowdown continues

A Cathay Pacific Cargo freighter

The slowdown in Asia Pacific continues, as in June the region saw a slight 0.5 per cent fall in demand compared to the same month last year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

The association says preliminary figures for the month show air cargo markets have “softened” and the recent moderation in the region’s airfreight volumes extended into the month.

AAPA says demand in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in June was 5.34 billion. Capacity in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK) was 8.3 billion, up 2.5 per cent. The freight load factor in June fell by 1.9 percentage points to 64.1 per cent.

The FTK figure in June was down on the 5.4 billion in May, but slightly above the 5.3 billion in April, and down on March when FTK was 5.9 billion. It was up on February and January when FTK was 4.8 billion and 5.1 billion, respectively.

The AFTK total in June was a decline on the 8.5 billion in May, the 8.4 billion in April and the 8.6 billion in March. June’s figure was up on the 7.4 billion in February and the same as the 8.3 billion achieved in January.

Demand for the first half of the year has risen compared to the same period last year. FTK for the first six months of 2015 was up 4.8 per cent to 32.1 billion. AFTK is up by 4.9 per cent to 49.9 billion. The freight load factor for the first six months of 2015 was 64.4 per cent, which is a 0.1 percentage point rise on the same six months in 2014.

AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman, says: “Air cargo demand grew by 4.8 per cent during the first half of 2015, but the pace of growth has moderated during recent months after the earlier boost in demand due to the US West Coast ports strikes wore off.”

Looking ahead, Herdman explains the outlook for air cargo markets is uncertain, with signs of a slowdown in global trade. “In general, Asian carriers remain focused on improving profitability, including careful adjustments to route networks in response to changing patterns of demand,” he adds.