March Newsletter

No slowdown as data shows solid Asia-Pacific air cargo growth

The pre-lunar new year shipment rush was early this year, with freight activity picking up in late January and the first half of February. But even though the comparisons were skewed, international air cargo demand registered a hefty 20.5 percent jump in February year-over-year.

“Air freight demand achieved an impressive 12.8 percent increase during the two month period, with robust demand for Asian exports, particularly to North America, where the recent port dispute affected some maritime shipping operations,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general.

The solid February growth in demand outpaced a 12.6 percent increase in offered freight capacity, resulting in a 4.2 percent increase in the average international freight load factor to 65.2 percent, giving a welcome boost to carrier profitability.

“The demand outlook for Asian carriers remains broadly positive, supported by the benefits of lower oil prices,” Herdman said. But he warned that airlines in the region were are having to carefully match capacity growth with actual demand, all the while coping with the effects of increased currency volatility that was affecting both costs and revenues.