Freight carried by Asian airlines in February rose 7.8 percent from the same period in 2011, as an earlier Chinese New Year skewed year-over-year comparisons but couldn’t hide that traffic is down 4.3 percent in the first two months of the year.
The average international cargo load factor rose 1.1 percentage points year-over-year to 66.1 percent, as capacity expanded 6 percent in the same period, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. Global air freight traffic rose 5.1 percent in the same period, but International Air Transportation Association said the outlook remains fragile.
Association Director General Andrew Herdman said weak demand and surplus capacity “has also been putting downward pressure on shipping rates.” Air freight rates for Asia outbound shipments in January saw the first annual gain since October 2010, rising 4.6 percent year-over-year.
“The outlook for the aviation industry remains challenging, with oil averaging $118 per barrel so far this year, which could act as a brake on prospects for the global economy, given the fragility of the recent economy,” Herdman said.