Preliminary traffic figures for the full calendar year 2016 released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reaffirmed an uptick in the region's air cargo markets in the second half of the year following a 2.2% year-on-year contraction during the first six months of the year.
AAPA said international air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), recorded a 1.8% increase for the year, with growth rebounding to a 5.7% year-on-year rise during the second
half. Overall, offered freight capacity expanded by 3.5%, leading to a slight decline in the average international freight load factor, by 1.0 percentage point to 62.5% for the year.
Moderating growth rates
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said that following the contraction in the first half of 2016, the recovery in the second half of the year was caused by "a broad-based expansion in manufacturing production and international exports, supplemented by growth in demand from expanding consumer markets in Asia."
Herdman predicted that "growth rates may moderate" because "the earlier boost to demand from falling oil prices is now behind us." He said: "Market conditions remain highly competitive, and airlines are focused on active cost management, whilst continuing to invest in future growth opportunities."
Nol van Fenema