Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Asia-Pacific carriers feel pain of air freight downturn

Asia-Pacific airlines continue to face weak global air freight demand, according to traffic figures for August released by two airline associations.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said international demand was 4.4 percent lower in August year-over-year on a 4.1 percent reduction in offered freight capacity. The average international air cargo load factor was almost unchanged at 64.6 percent.

“Air freight markets remain depressed as a result of weakening consumer confidence in the major developed economies leading to a corresponding slowdown in exports from Asia,” noted the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -headquartered association of regional airlines.

Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said the persistent weakness in air cargo markets shows “no sign of any upturn,” as the global economic slowdown and high oil prices place more pressure on airline margins and industry profitability.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that Asia-Pacific carriers were the most affected by the contraction of overall global demand in August due to the continued slide in business and consumer confidence.

Compared to August 2011, international freight demand fell by 0.8 percent, behind a capacity expansion of 0.4 percent.

The declines in business confidence signal potential further weakness in the months to come, IATA said in a press release.

“The minor recovery seen at the start of the year has faded quickly and the stability seen in freight markets during 2012 could be under threat owing to continued economic weakness,” the Geneva-based group added.

Asia-Pacific carriers led those regions that saw demand fall in August, with a volume contraction of 5.5 percent. The others were the European and Latin American airlines.

The Middle East, African and North American carriers bucked the trend and remained in positive growth territory.

IATA currently forecasts a collective US$3 billion profit for airlines in 2012 for a 0.5 percent net margin.  On October 1, IATA will release a revised industry outlook.


Photo: curimedia

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