Business Standard

Air passenger markets resilient but air cargo demand remains weak: AAPA


International air passenger demand continued to grow at a moderate pace in October, demonstrating resilience in the face of the ongoing easing in global economic activity, preliminary traffic figures released on Wednesday by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed.
Meanwhile, weakness in air cargo markets persisted as the slowdown in overall demand for exports continued to weigh on international trade flows.
A combined 30.7 million international passengers were carried by the region's airlines in October, 3.1 per cent more than the same month last year. Demand in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms climbed 3.5 per cent higher, reflecting the relative strength of long haul markets.
After accounting for a 2.2 per cent expansion in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor rose by 1 percentage point to reach 79.8 per cent for the month.
International air cargo demand in freight tonne kilometre terms (FTK) declined by 5.9 per cent year-on-year in October whereas offered freight capacity increased by a marginal 0.1 per cent. As a result, the average international freight load factor fell by 3.9 percentage points to 61.9 per cent.
"The first ten months of the year saw Asian airlines carry 312 million international passengers, a 4.3 per cent increase compared to the same period last year," said AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman.
On the other hand, air cargo volumes fell by 5.6 per cent with trade tensions and geopolitical risks dampening business sentiment and export orders.
Against a backdrop of a slowing global economy and intense competition, Asian airlines face continued pressure on margins.
"Nevertheless, the region's carriers remain pro-active in identifying measures to control costs in order to maintain overall profitability, and are adjusting their route networks to better match demand," said Herdman.

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First Published: Nov 27 2019 | 2:41 PM IST

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