Global air cargo markets were relatively flat in February due to the timing of the Chinese New Year holidays, but Asia-Pacific carriers logged a slight volume growth in the first two months of the year, according to the latest figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
International freight demand of Asia-Pacific carriers last month was lower by 0.3 percent year-over-year, partly a result of the closure of regional manufacturing plants during the Chinese New Year holidays.
Offered freight capacity increased by 1.6 percent, resulting in a 1.2 percentage point fall in the average international freight load factor to 61.2 percent, said the Kuala Lumpur-based trade association.
During the first two months of the year, international freight markets showed a 2 percent increase over the same period last year, “but the recovery in air cargo demand remains somewhat tentative,” said AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.
He forecasts challenging times on the horizon. “Although the recent improvement in business conditions and slight pick-up in world trade growth is encouraging, Asian carriers continue to face multiple competitive challenges that have been pressuring yields and margins across the board.”
Meanwhile, Singapore Changi Airport said it processed 2.6 percent less cargo, or a total of 127,700 tonnes, in February 2014 compared to the same period a year ago.
It said the Lunar New Year holidays this year started in late January, 10 days earlier than in 2013, causing the slight dip in volume.
During the two-month period of January and February, airfreight handled by the aviation hub rose by 0.8 percent to 279,100 tonnes.