Aviation article(s)
July 1, 2024

Airlines in the Asia Pacific reported another month of cargo growth in May, driven by an acceleration in global economic activity.


Traffic figures released by the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that international air cargo demand — measured in freight tonne-kilometres (FTK) — increased 17.9% in May, compared to the same period in 2023.


This follows a 13.7% year-on-year expansion recorded in April.


In March, international air cargo demand recorded a 15.3% year-on-year increase, extending the rebound seen in the last quarter of 2023.


"Driven by buoyant trade activity within the region and globally, Asian carriers saw international air cargo demand in freight tonne kilometres register a solid 17.9% year-on-year growth in May," AAPA said in a statement.


For the period, the average international freight load factor also climbed 1.4 percentage points to 61.4%, following a 15.1% expansion in offered freight capacity.


"In the first five months of the year, Asia Pacific airlines carried a total of 144 million international passengers, reflecting a 44.8% increase compared to the previous corresponding period. During the same period, international air cargo demand grew by 16.0%," said Subhas Menon, director-general at AAPA.


"The current pick-up in global economic activity, supported by improvements to business confidence levels and increased consumer spending, has boosted demand for both international travel and air cargo," he added, noting that Asia Pacific airlines, being major players in the air cargo markets, have also benefitted from disruptions to ocean freight services.

Self Photos / Files - da3e1486ae6942388447e2c206313e4d.png

 [Source: AAPA]


Looking ahead, Menon said encouraging trends in passenger and cargo traffic, following strong traffic performance in 2023, bode well for Asian airlines this year.


"However, profit margins remain under pressure, with operating costs impacted by the strong US Dollar and jet fuel prices averaging above the US$100 per barrel mark during the first five months of the year," he said.


"Overall, Asian airlines remain committed to maintaining stringent cost controls across their operations, alongside a proactive pursuit of growth opportunities," Menon added.

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