The major airline associations from Asia and Europe both reported July data during the past week, with Asian carriers seeing much stronger demand growth than their European counterparts.
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reported cargo traffic flown by the region’s airlines up 6.4% in July to 5.39 billion FTKs, driven by growth in demand for exports from major regional manufacturing hubs. Cargo capacity growth for the month lagged demand – up just 3.2% – leading to a 2.0 percentage point increase in load factor to 65.3%. For the year through July, Asia Pacific airlines cargo traffic was up 4.9% to 55.20 billion RTKs.
Commenting on the results, AAPA said, “The sustained upward trend in both international passenger and cargo demand is very positive, and reflects continued growth in the emerging markets and a relatively stable global economic outlook. Nevertheless, Asia Pacific airlines are still facing very challenging business conditions, with additional capacity placing further downward pressure on fares and yields. As a result, revenue growth has been lacklustre, and profitability remains elusive for many of the region’s carriers.”
The Association of European Airlines (AEA) reported its member carriers’ July freight traffic up 1.0% y-o-y to 2.75 billion RTKs. This is an improvement over the 1.2% decline in June, but well down from the 6% to 7% gains reported in the first quarter of 2014.
Two major trade lanes – the North Atlantic and the Asia-Pacific – account for 70% of European carriers’ freight traffic. In July, they showed quite different results, with traffic up 3.3% on the North Atlantic lane to 776 million RTKs, and down 0.9% on the Asia-Pacific lane to 1.15 billion RTKs.
For the first seven months of 2014, AEA member carriers’ freight traffic was up 3.6% to 18.73 billion RTKs.