November 2017 saw “robust demand” for Asia Pacific carriers in both international passenger and air cargo markets, reflecting the ongoing global economic upswing.
Preliminary airfreight traffic figures by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show demand measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) climbed 9.2% year on year in November.
AAPA said that the results indicated further growth in air cargo volumes, due to “solid expansion in new business orders, underpinned by strong demand from advanced economies”.
Growth in air cargo demand “significantly outpaced” the 4.7% expansion in offered freight capacity, said the AAPA, resulting in a 2.9 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 69.4% for the month.
There was also strong business and leisure travel demand, with the region’s airlines carrying a combined total of 25.9m international passengers in November, 9.3% more than the same month 2016
Commenting on the results, AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said: "With business and leisure travel demand spurred by steady growth in the global economy, the first eleven months of the year saw a healthy 6.0% increase in the number of international passengers carried by Asian airlines to a combined total of 288m.
“Within the same period, international air cargo demand increased by 10.0%, on the back of the firm pick-up in global trade activities."
Looking ahead, Herdman added: "2017 is expected to end on a positive note for both passenger and cargo traffic given current trends. With the global economy riding on positive business and consumer confidence levels amid continued expansion in order books, the demand outlook for Asian carriers remains positive.
“In the meantime, the region’s airlines remain focused on effectively managing capacity in response to evolving patterns of market demand as well as improving operational efficiency."