Asian airlines see cargo volumes decline for the first time this year

Asian airlines saw air cargo volumes decline for the first time this year as weakening demand took its toll on performance.


The latest figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show that Asian airline cargo demand declined in June, slipping by 0.5% compared with a year ago to 5.3bn freight tonne kms.


It is the first time a year-on-year demand decline has been recorded by AAPA since February 2014.


Volumes for the first six months are almost five percent ahead of a year earlier, although airlines in the region did receive a boost in the first few months of the year as a result of strikes at US west coast seaports.


AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said: “Air cargo demand grew by 4.8% during the first half of 2015, but the pace of growth has moderated during recent months after the earlier boost in demand due to the US west coast ports strikes wore off.


“The outlook for air cargo markets is more uncertain [than passenger], with signs of a slowdown in global trade.


“In general, Asian carriers remain focused on improving profitability, including careful adjustments to route networks in response to changing patterns of demand.”


Meanwhile, carriers increased cargo capacity in June by 2.5% on last year, which caused load factors for the month to decline to 64.1% against 66% last year.


The average load factor recorded for the first five months of the year is 64.4%, against 64.1% for the same period last year.