The launch of electronic products by manufacturers such as Samsung and Apple gave a significant boost to air freight exports from Asia in March. The overall market is still soft, however, Cathay Pacific Airways says.
Combined cargo and mail tonnage uplifted by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair last month declined 10.7 percent year-over-year, but increased 26 percent from February.
James Woodrow, Cathay Pacific’s general manager of cargo sales and marketing, said March had been Cathay’s strongest month of the year so far. “This was thanks to large shipments of high-tech consumer products from China to key markets around the world combined with capacity reductions by both Cathay Pacific and our competitors,” he said.
However, the general market for air freight is still soft, particularly into Europe. “There is poor visibility looking forward and little sign of any sustained pickup in demand,” he said. “We expect business to be weaker in April, and we will continue to reduce capacity as necessary.”
Cathay’s cargo and mail load factor fell 2.7 percentage points year-over-year to 68.3 percent in March. Capacity measured in available cargo/mail metric-ton kilometers decreased 2.9 percent year-over-year, while cargo and mail metric-ton kilometers flown declined 6.7 percent.
In the first quarter, cargo volumes showed a 10.5 percent year-over-year drop. In freight metric-ton kilometer terms, the year-over-year decline was 8 percent, while capacity was off 2.1 percent.
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