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            november 13, 2019

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CIBE 2019

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Air freight markets remain weak in Asia Pacific, but passenger numbers rise


Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region suffered a decline of 7.6 per cent in air freight volumes, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), in April compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures released by the Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
The decrease in international air cargo traffic reflected continued weakness in demand. Not even a 4.8 per cent reduction in offered freight capacity could offset a 2.0 percentage point drop in the average air cargo load factor that slumped to 66.3 per cent in April.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said in a statement: "International air freight markets remain depressed, with Asian airlines recording an overall 4.8 per cent decline in cargo traffic for the first four months of the year, exerting further downward pressure on rates, despite reductions in offered freight capacity."
On a brighter note, Asia Pacific airlines carried 17.2 million international passengers in April, an increase of 12.2 per cent compared to the same month last year. In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger demand grew by 10.1 per cent, reflecting significantly stronger demand on regional routes.
With traffic growth outpacing an 8.5 per cent increase in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor was 76.3 per cent, 1.1 percentage points higher than in the same month last year. The positive result was led by robust growth on short haul regional routes.
Mr. Herdman added, "We're still seeing welcome growth in passenger demand, but airline profit margins have suffered as a result of the weak cargo market, and the impact of stubbornly high oil prices."
He continued, "Although key Asian economies are still performing relatively well, the operating environment remains challenging, clouded by uncertainties over prospects for the global economy."

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