Market outlook for Asian carriers remains positive.
Preliminary traffic figures for the month of March released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed firm growth in international air passenger markets, and more moderate but still positive growth in air cargo demand.
International air cargo demand for the Asia Pacific region , as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), increased by 2.8% year-on-year in March. Air cargo demand on routes within the region, as well as traffic to and from the region remained encouraging, underpinned by demand for transportation of both intermediate goods and consumer products including strong growth in e-commerce shipments. Offered freight capacity increased by 5.6% which resulted in an average international freight load factor of 65.5%, 1.8 percentage points lower than in the same month last year.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said: “International air cargo demand remained robust during the same period, achieving 5.9% growth, building further on last year’s very strong cargo performance.
“Growth across advanced and emerging market economies was maintained in the first quarter of the year, driven by positive business and consumer sentiment. Correspondingly, world trade activity continued to expand, underpinned by increased investments and higher manufacturing output in the region, in response to increased new business orders. These positive factors continued to support growth in both air passenger and cargo demand for Asian airlines.”