There was “healthy growth” in international air cargo, said the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) in its preliminary traffic figures for October.
Reflecting the sustained upturn in global trade for consumer and intermediate goods, Asia Pacific airlines saw international air cargo demand, in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), increase by 5.8% in October above the high base level recorded in October 2016.
Offered freight capacity expanded by 4.1%, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 66.9% for the month.
For the first ten months of 2017, said AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman, “international air cargo traffic demand grew by a robust 10.1% during the same period”.
Asia Pacific airlines also registered a firm 8.3% increase in the number of international passengers carried to a combined total of 26.4m in October and the average international passenger load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 78.0% for the month.
Herdman added: "The rise in global economic activity has seen a sustained pick up in global trade and transportation of manufactured goods, with air cargo playing an important role in restocking global supply chains and the growth of e-commerce. As a result, Asian airlines continued to enjoy healthy growth in the air cargo segment, maintaining the broad upswing in demand which began in the latter half of 2016."
Looking ahead, he concluded: "The overall demand outlook remains positive, although Asian airlines are operating in highly competitive markets and face rising cost pressures, with average jet fuel prices up 24% to US$64 per barrel for the first ten months of the year. Nevertheless, Asian airlines remain focused on implementing further improvements in operational efficiency and other cost saving measures, whilst identifying new opportunities for revenue generation."
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