Freight traffic for Asia-Pacific airlines fell for the fourth straight month in July, a 4 percent decline that has air carriers viewing the rest of 2011 with growing pessimism.
Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, said carriers are seeing air freight pricing fall amid weak export demand and plentiful capacity.
“A month ago we were guardedly optimistic,” he said. “We hoped for the traditional pick-up in the second half. But in the last few weeks economic news from the U.S. and Europe in terms of economic growth slowing again has given us reason for concern.”
Capacity grew slightly, pulling the average international freight load factor in Asia down 2.9 percentage points from a year ago to 66.9 percent.
Traffic, measured in freight metric-ton kilometers, grew sequentially about 5 percent from June but capacity expanded at even faster rate as airlines prepared for what they still hope will be a strong fall shipping period.
“The year-on-year is negative, but cargo volumes are respectable,” Herdman said. “The problem is that airlines have put in similar capacity to last year, so load factors have fallen and that has led to pricing pressure.”