Slight improvement in April but Asia Pacific still struggling

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Asia Pacific has seen a slight improvement in April with freight tonne kilometres (FTK) increasing by 0.1 per cent, but 2016 is still down on last year, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) says.

April saw a year-on-year improvement of 0.1 per cent to just under 5.4 billion but the year is still down 4.8 per cent on 2015, at 21.4 billion FTKs. April is the first month since the middle of 2015 to see year-on-year improvements.

February saw the most dramatic fall, down 12.1 per cent, though this was not helped by the previous year being artificially strong due to the US West Coast seaport strike. March had also struggled, down 5.3 per cent on 2015.

AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says: “international air cargo markets are still weak, with year to date demand registering a 4.8% decline compared to the same period a year ago, reflecting the lacklustre global trade conditions.”

Capacity in available tonne kilometres increased by 2.8 per cent in April to 8.7 billion, and by 2.3 per cent year-to-date to 33.9 billion. The load factor fell by 1.7 percentage points to 61.7 per cent in April, and down by 4.5 percentage points to 60.1 per cent between January and April.