Air freight tonnage originating from the Asia-Pacific region was down by 5.8 percent, year-over-year, in October, according to data released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Capacity declined by 6.1 percent. For the year, freight volumes are down 4 percent, with capacity off by 3.4 points.
“Traffic numbers for the month of October indicate a continuation of the slower growth trend already apparent in the third quarter of the year, with regional traffic holding up relatively well, but some softening of demand for long-haul travel markets,” Andrew Herdman, the association's director general, said in a statement.
He noted carriers around the world have seen a 4-percent decline in cargo volumes so far this year, due to lackluster demand combined with an abundance of capacity. In the Asia-Pacific region, Herdman commented, the volatile global economy has made air cargo operations difficult.
Preliminary results from three of the busiest cargo carriers in the region echoed the the association's findings.
Cathay Pacific Airlines and its Dragonair subsidiary finished October with cargo and mail ton-kilometers down 2.8 percent year-over-year, while showing a slight increase in cargo and mail carried. Capacity crept up 0.5 percent in October.
Singapore Airlines Cargo experienced declines across the board in October, compared to the same period last year. Freight ton-kilometers declined by more than 10 percent, while capacity showed growth of -9.9 percent. The carrier’s cargo load factor was off by 2.4 points.
According to EVA Airways' data, cargo revenue fell by 5.83 percent in October. While freight tons-carried declined by 12.58 percent, capacity also experienced a decline year-over-year in October, falling by 16.07 percent. So far in 2012, February is the only month that showed growth in freight tons-carried. - Jon Ross