Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region saw cargo demand grow by 3.9% in 2018, according to preliminary traffic figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Freight tonne kilometres for the year totalled 73.2 billion, while available FTKs grew by 6.6% to 115.7 billion. The freight load factor dropped by 1.6 percentage points to 63.3%.
“Whilst international air cargo demand recorded an encouraging 3.9% increase for the full year, growth slowed significantly in the closing months of the year as business confidence in the global manufacturing sector weakened in response to trade policy tensions,” said Andrew Herdman, director general of the AAPA. “Overall, in 2018, the region’s airlines benefitted from robust growth in passenger traffic and further expansion in cargo demand. Higher average airfares and record-high load factors lifted passenger yields after several years of declines. Cargo yields also firmed slightly despite falling load factors. However, cost pressures continued to increase, with higher fuel expenditure driven by a 30% increase in jet fuel prices which averaged US$85 per barrel for the year, despite falling back significantly towards the end of the year.”
The region’s airlines recorded a 9.6% increase in air cargo demand in 2017.
The AAPA’s members consist of 36 member airlines based in Asia Pacific.
(Article first published on asiacargonews.com on January 30th)