Logistics article(s)
April 30, 2024

Airlines in the Asia Pacific reported another month of growth in its cargo activities in March, driven by the steady expansion in global economic activity.


Traffic figures released by the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed international air cargo demand — measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTK) — recorded a strong 15.3% growth for March compared to the same period last year.


In February, international air cargo demand recorded a 10.2% year-on-year increase, extending the rebound seen in the last quarter of 2023.


"In March, manufacturing orders ramped up, driving an uptick in trade activity," AAPA said in a statement.


"The rise in exports, in part propelled by the dynamic e-commerce sector, bolstered air cargo markets," it added.


In March, the average international air freight load factor edged 0.5 percentage points lower to 62.7% in March, after accounting for a 16.2% expansion in offered freight capacity.


"March saw another healthy expansion in both passenger and cargo markets, culminating in a strong first-quarter performance for 2024," said Subhas Menon, director-general of AAPA.


"International air cargo traffic witnessed a solid 16% year-on-year increase during the same period, signalling that the full recovery of the Asia Pacific airline industry is well within sight," he added, referring to the first quarter performance of Asia Pacific airlines.

Self Photos / Files - 3dd9b7e5d01347989ed5a730665705a5.png
[Source: AAPA]

Looking ahead, Menon expressed cautious optimism regarding growth prospects and challenges in the aviation industry.


"The potential alleviation of interest rates and inflationary pressures are expected to stimulate spending, thereby driving further growth in air travel and cargo markets in the upcoming months," he said.


"However, the airline operating environment is challenging today, marked by international conflicts, extreme weather events and supply chain issues that increase cost pressures on carriers due to re-routings, flight diversions and disruptions. Nevertheless, the Asia Pacific airline industry is growing steadily, steadfastly focused on enhancing air connectivity," the AAPA chief added.

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