Home » Aviation » Asia-Pacific air freight declines 9.8 percent in May

Air cargo demand in Asia-Pacific registered its sharpest drop this year, falling 9.8 percent in freight tonnage for the month of May, the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said.

Even with a 4.7 percent reduction in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor fell by 3.9 percentage points to 68.8 percent for the month, the AAPA said.

Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said: “The decline in international air cargo traffic reported for May this year reflects some moderation in the pace of global economic growth, affecting Asian exports, especially when compared to the very strong rebound in demand seen last year. However, we may see volumes pick up again in the traditionally stronger second half of the year.”

From January to May this year, Asia-Pacific air freight traffic slid 2.4 percent from the same period last year.

“The combination of slower revenue growth and sharply higher fuel costs means airline operating margins are under severe pressure,” Herdman said. “Continued vigilance in controlling costs, and carefully matching capacity to the projected changes in demand will be the key to sustaining profitability.”

The AAPA is the trade association for scheduled international airlines based in the Asia-Pacific region. It said the region’s airlines carry 18 million tonnes of cargo, representing two-fifths of global air cargo traffic.

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