Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Slack world demand hitting Asian airlines hardest

Asia-Pacific carriers are the most affected by the continued decline in global airfreight traffic as demand for Asian exports kept its downward trajectory in October amid a weak global economy, according to the latest data from two international airline associations.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), based in Geneva, said Asia-Pacific carriers saw the steepest throughput decline for any region this October by recording a 6.8 percent contraction year-over-year. Between September and October 2o12, two-thirds of the fall in global airfreight volumes has come from Asia-Pacific carriers, the group added.

North American airlines had a 5.3 percent dip in demand, European airlines  4.3 percent , and African carriers 0.5 percent .

On the other hand, Middle Eastern carriers logged a 13.4 percent rise in traffic, while Latin American airlines’ demand climbed 0.9 percent.

IATA said overall international freight demand for the month was 3.5 percent below the previous year’s level, and declined 2.2 percent compared to September. The freight load factor weakened to 46.1 percent from 46.7 percent a year ago.

“Slowing world trade and weak business confidence are affecting demand for air travel, while Hurricane Sandy delivered a concentrated punch to US domestic and North Atlantic travel. And its impact was felt globally,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO. He also warned that “the rapid decline in freight traffic is outrunning the industry’s ability to respond.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysia-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said October continued the trend toward an overall weakness in international air cargo movements, as shown by a 5.8 percent fall in volume from the same period a year ago. Offered freight capacity was reduced by 6.1 percent, leaving the average international air cargo load factor almost unchanged at 67.4 percent.

“Global air cargo markets are still depressed, with volumes for the first ten months of the year 4.0% down on last year’s levels,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general. “Overall, the air cargo market is characterized by weak demand and excess capacity, maintaining downward pressure on rates.”

Herdman added: “Asia Pacific airlines are still facing a very challenging operating environment, clouded by uncertainties over the global economic outlook.”


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