Home » Aviation, Breaking News » For Asian airlines, it’s solid passenger demand but weaker cargo market in Jan

Robust growth marked international air passenger demand in January even as international air cargo markets weakened further, with global new export orders contracting on the back of slowing demand for foreign goods, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Overall, the region’s airlines carried a combined 32.2 million international passengers in January, 8.0% more than in the same month last year. Reflecting robust regional and long-haul travel demand, traffic grew by 8.1%. Available seat capacity expanded by 5.9%, resulting in a 1.7 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 82.1% for the month.

On the other hand, international air cargo markets continued to soften, with demand falling by 3.8% year-on-year in January. Concerns over slower growth in major economies and unresolved trade tensions are affecting air cargo demand.

Meanwhile, the expansion in offered freight capacity continued to outpace demand growth, with January’s 2.8% increase in offered freight capacity resulting in a 3.9 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 56.6% for the month.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, said, “Against a backdrop of increasing concerns about the global economy, the continued firm growth in passenger traffic was a welcome start to the year for the region’s carriers, which also saw demand sustained by travel ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia.”

He added: “During the same period, however, expected increases in air cargo shipments were absent, as evidenced in the decline in air cargo volumes.”

Looking ahead, Herdman concluded, “Overall, the travel demand outlook is broadly positive for the coming year. Underlying global economic conditions remain relatively firm, with major economies leaning towards more accommodative policies to support demand.”

Photo: By Myself (Adrian Pingstone)

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