Asian carriers positive on cargo despite international trade tensions

International air cargo volumes remain “firm, notwithstanding tensions around global trade policies,” according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) in its preliminary traffic figures for October.

Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand increase by 5.6% as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) compared to last October, supported by increasing orders going into the end of year peak season.

However, capacity, which increased by 7.3%, exceeded demand, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 65.5% for the month.

Overall, for the first ten months of the year, international air cargo traffic carried by Asian airlines recorded 4.8% growth.

Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said: "The global economy continued to expand moving into the fourth quarter, with further strengthening of global services activity but somewhat slower expansion in the global manufacturing sectors. Together with improvements in connectivity, these factors supported the continued growth in air traffic demand for Asian carriers."

He added that prospects for both air travel demand and air cargo markets remain positive.

“Geopolitical risks and uncertainty over unresolved trade tensions are a concern, but consumer confidence levels remain relatively robust. Overall, the region's carriers remain focused on strengthening financial performance through operational efficiency gains, whilst delivering high levels of customer service," he said.

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