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AAPA: Cargo demand picks up in November as capacity crunch softens

CARGO remains the bright spot for airlines in the Asia Pacific region as passenger demand struggles to pick up

12 January 2021 - 19:00

CARGO remains the bright spot for airlines in the Asia Pacific region as passenger demand struggles to pick up.

This is according to preliminary November 2020 international air traffic figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (PA) which show that cargo volumes increased for the third consecutive month.



However, year-on-year demand, measured in freight tonne km (FTKs) was down 11.3 per cent to 5.7 million tonnes.



Cargo volumes recorded from January to November 2020 (54.4 million tonnes) were 16.4 per cent lower than in the same period of 2019, reports London's Air Cargo News.



However, as a result of carriers in the region deploying preighters and ramping up freighter operations, cargo capacity in the region increased by 6.7 percentage points to 69.5 per cent in November 2020.



The PA said the performance of air cargo in the region was supported by the recovery in global manufacturing activity.



Meanwhile, passenger demand in November 2020 declined 95.4 per cent year on year to 1.4 million passengers carried.



Commenting on the results, PA director general Subhas Menon said: 'Whilst the recovery in global economic activity has broadened across sectors, international travel remains crippled by border closures affecting 60 per cent of Asia Pacific destinations. The recent escalation in Covid-19 cases and emergence of variant strains, have resulted in the re-imposition of stricter travel restrictions by several states.'



Looking ahead, Mr Menon said the near-term outlook for the airline industry remains extremely challenging.



'Governments need to move ahead with plans to implement harmonised testing protocols as a part of a multi-layered and risk-based approach towards safely restoring air travel, at the same time as vaccinations are rolled out across the world.'


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