AIRLINES in Asia Pacific saw air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) decline 7.2 per cent in June, compared to the same month a year earlier, on the back of lower export orders globally. The result marked the eighth straight month of falling volumes, according to data compiled by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines' (AAPA).
The average international freight load factor dropped by 5.1 percentage points to 58.8 per cent in June, after accounting for a one per cent rise in offered freight capacity, a statement from AAPA said.
Commenting on the results, AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said that in the first half of year: "Asian airlines recorded a 6.2 per cent decline in air cargo demand, reflecting prevailing weakness in international trade flows across regions, as widening trade disputes and higher tariffs continued to disrupt global supply chains."
Looking to the months ahead, Mr Herdman said: "The outlook for the region's travel markets is broadly positive, with continued expansion in air passenger demand. On the other hand, with moderating global business optimism levels and the absence of significant progress in trade negotiations, air cargo demand is expected to remain weak.
"Overall, the region's airlines will closely monitor changes to operating conditions, whilst managing business operations with the aim of sustaining profitability."
In the first six months of the year the number of international passengers carried by Asian airlines grew by 4.7 per cent to a combined total of 186 million, "supported by strong leisure demand, which continued to outpace the global rate of economic expansion."