Asia Pacific air cargo demand slips 7.7pc amid worsening trade tensions

AIRLINES based in Asia Pacific suffered a 7.7 per cent drop in air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), in July compared to the same month last year on the back of lower export volumes and ongoing weakness in the region's air cargo markets, data compiled by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed.

AAPA was cited as saying in a report by London's Air Cargo News that "mounting trade tensions, alongside deteriorating business confidence levels" contributed to further decreases in orders for goods.

"The markedly lower demand, coupled with almost flat expansion in offered freight capacity, by 0.4 per cent, led to a 5.2 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor, to 58.9 per cent for the month," the association said.

In contrast, the AAPA's member airlines saw international air passenger demand continue to rise in July, with passenger numbers up 3.4 per cent year on year to total 32.5 million.

Commenting on the air cargo results, AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said that global trade conditions deteriorated further, "as higher tariffs disrupted global supply chains, and Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand fall by 6.2 per cent during the first seven months of the year."

He added: "The weakness in air cargo markets is likely to extend into the coming months, unless we see some meaningful progress in trade negotiations."

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