FTKs reflect Asia Pacific volatility

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Freight tonne kilometres (FTK) have risen slightly since April, but are still below the yearly high seen in March, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) June figures.

The FTKs in June was 5,278 million, up from May and April when it was 5,207 million and 5,108 million, respectively. But these figures are down from March when it was 5,707 million. The June result is up on February and January when it was 4,034 million and 4,782 million, respectively. For the Year-to-date (YTD) the FTKs rose to by 4.6 per cent to 30,222 million compared with January to June 2013 when it was 28,892 million. 

AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman, says: “Airfreight demand grew by 4.6 per cent, underpinned by a long awaited pick-up in global trade activities. The overall traffic demand environment in the region is still expected to be positive, supported by continued growth in regional economies and further improvement in the US and European economies. However, competitive pressures remain intense, forcing Asian airlines to keep a close watch on costs while carefully managing capacity.”

The load factor has been up and down throughout the year. In June it was 66.1 per cent, up from May and April. During those months it was 64.9 per cent for May and 64.3 per cent for April – but down on March when it was 68.4 per cent. And March was a sudden step up from February and January, when it was 61.2 per cent and 61.3 per cent, respectively. The YTD load factor remained the same at 64.5 per cent compared to January to June 2013 because freight available tonne kilometres (FATK) rose 4.7 per cent, the same rate as FTK.

FATK has risen and fallen throughout the year. In June it was 7,984 million, down from May when it was 8,028 million, up from April when it was 7,943 million but down from March when it was 8,339 million. It was up on the yearly low of February of 6,593 million and up on January when it was 7,807 million. When comparing June 2014 with June 2013, FATK had risen 3.4 per cent from 7,721 million.

The slow, changing and weaker FTK figures are being reflected in airlines’ results. Air China has issued a profit warning as its cargo carried has dropped throughout the year, jet fuel prices have risen and the renminbi has weakened. 

Air China handled 121,534 tonnes of cargo in June, continuing a downward trend from March. It handled 127,400 tonnes, 128,344 tonnes and 136,058 tonnes in May, April and March, respectively. 

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