Modest rise for Asia Pacific airlines in 2015

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China Southern Airlines inaugural arrival June 2015 at London Stansted Airport

Airlines in Asia Pacific saw airfreight volumes rise, “modestly,” by 6.3 per cent during the first five months of 2015, according to preliminary figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

The association says freight tonne kilometres (FTK) were 26.8 billion for January to May this year, up on the 25.2 billion that was recorded from January to May in 2014.For May, AAPA says FTK was 5.4 billion, a year-on-year (YOY) increase of 2.9 per cent, which is the second highest monthly FTK figure this year. This compares to April when FTK was 5.3 billion, in March it was 5.9 billion, in February 4.8 billion and in January FTK was 5.1 billion.

Capacity in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK) in the first five months of 2015 was up 5.6 per cent to 41.6 billion, compared to the same period in 2014. In May alone, AFTK was up YOY by 5.1 per cent to 8.5 billion. This was higher than the 8.4 billion AFTK figure in April, but down on the 8.6 billion in March. It was up on the 7.4 billion in February and also up on the 8.3 billion in January.

The strong AFTK total in May led to a YOY 1.4 percentage point decrease in the average freight load factor for the month to 63.5 per cent. The freight load factor for the first five months of 2015 is 64.5 per cent, a 0.5 percentage point fall on the same period last year. AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman, says: “International air cargo markets recorded further growth in May, albeit at a moderate pace compared to the preceding months when demand was boosted by congestion in US West coast maritime ports. Overall, Asian airlines registered a 6.3 per cent increase in international airfreight demand for the first five months of the year.”

Herdman explains that the demand environment for air cargo markets also remains positive, though the pace of expansion appears to be slowing. “Asian carriers are continuing to strive for further operating efficiencies with an eye on improving overall profitability this year after some disappointing results in 2014,” he adds.