Asia-Pacific airlines’s freight demand held relatively well in February

Preliminary traffic figures for the month of January released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed air cargo demand held up remarkably well in February, despite the effects of extended factory closures and COVID-19 related lockdowns in China crippling the supply and distribution of manufactured goods nationwide and related international trade flows. These declines were partly offset by higher demand for air shipments of intermediate goods, including pharmaceutical and food supplies, within the region.

Overall, Asia Pacific airlines registered a 3.0% year-on-year decline in international air cargo demand in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) terms in February. Comparatively, offered freight capacity fell by a sharp 13.5%, with belly-hold capacity declining in tandem with the progressive cuts in the number of passenger flights over the course of the month. As a result, the average international freight load factor increased by 6.5 percentage points to 60.3% for the month.

The preliminary traffic figures indicate that international air passenger demand plunged in February, with deepening public anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic and the abrupt imposition of travel restrictions across the world causing widespread disruptions to airline operations.

In aggregate, the region’s airlines experienced a 43.9% year-on-year fall in the number of international passengers carried to a combined 17.0 million in February.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “Asian airlines saw passenger demand for international air travel demand plunge in February as a result of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Overall, for the first two months of the year, the number of international passengers travelling on Asian airlines fell by 21% to 50 million passengers.”

“During the same period, international air cargo demand fell by a relatively modest 5%, under challenging business conditions resulting from disruptions to production and logistics supply from large exporting markets in the region.”

Source: AAPA

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