According to a press release from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, air freight volume in May declined 9.8 percent when compared to the same time last year. Despite a 4.7 percent reduction in freight capacity, the average international freight load factor fell by 3.9 percentage points to 68.8 percent for the month.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Herdman (AAPA Director General) said the following:
Over the first five months of the year, Asian airlines have seen 2.5 percent growth in the number of international passengers carried, whereas international air cargo traffic has declined 2.4 percent during the same period. The combination of slower revenue growth and sharply higher fuel costs means airlines operating margins are under severe pressure. Continued vigilance in controlling costs, and carefully matching capacity to the projected changes in demand will be the key to sustaining profitability.
Mr. Herdman also suggested that the decline in volume reflects some moderation in the pace of global economic growth when compared to a very strong rebound in global demand that we experienced last year.
It will be interesting to see if demand picks up as we head into the second half of the year.