AIR cargo carrier's in Asia saw demand fall by 1.1 per cent year on year during the third quarter, after registering a 4.5 per cent increase during the first half of the year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
As a result, air cargo growth for the first nine months narrowed to 2.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The International Air Transport Association's cargo results for September have not yet been released, but its latest business confidence survey of airline chief financial officers and heads of cargo found that the declining trend of the third quarter was expected to continue, reported IHS Media.
The IATA survey said: "The growth outlook is positive for both passenger and cargo businesses, but not at the strong pace that was expected earlier in the year. This likely reflects concerns over weakness in the global business environment and emerging market economies."
This was in line with the AAPA outlook. "The operating environment for Asian airlines remains challenging, complicated by the effects of slowing economic growth in emerging markets, and associated exchange rate volatility," AAPA director general Andrew Herdman was quoted as saying.
"Overall, Asia Pacific airlines' profitability is showing modest improvement in an intensely competitive market."
According to the AAPA, demand in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms in September barely matched the same month last year. After accounting for a 2.3 per cent increase in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor declined by 1.5 percentage points to 62.7 per cent for the month.
Air freight volume at Hong Kong International Airport increased by just one per cent in September compared to the same month last year to a total of 368,000 tonnes of cargo.
The growth, although weak, reversed a trend of decreasing year-over-year growth at the airport and was generated by a 3 per cent increase in cargo exports to North America and Australasia during the month.
Cathay Pacific general manager cargo sales Mark Sutch said demand in the cargo markets began to climb moving into September, but it was more of a trickle than a surge.
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminals Co. Ltd recorded cargo throughput of 136,000 tonnes, an increase of 1.3 per cent and well short of the double-digit growth percentages posted earlier this year.
Shanghai Pudong handled 1.17 million tonnes in the first nine months of the year, up 8.5 per cent year on year.
Source : HKSG.