Freighter saves Asia-Pacific airlines
KUALA LUMPUR, September 29, 2021: Preliminary traffic figures for August 2021 released on Tuesday by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that international air cargo markets remain resilient, driven by the continued expansion of e-commerce and the demand for intermediate goods.
On the other hand, a serious weakness in international air travel has persisted as governments have maintained strict border control measures amid escalating cases of Covid-19 in the region.
In August, the 1.4 million international passengers carried by the region’s airlines represented only 4.0% of the 34 million recorded in August 2019, underscoring the continued lack of a recovery in the economy. demand, in stark contrast to the summer months before the onset of this global health. crisis. With available seating capacity averaging 13.7% of pre-pandemic levels, the load factor of international passengers remained under pressure, averaging just 34.7% in August.
Supply congestion at major export ports such as China has increased demand for freight transport by air, contributing to the 26.0% year-over-year growth in freight demand international air freight measured in freight tonne-kilometers (FTK) in August. Despite favorable demand conditions, limited cargo space resulting from low number of flights continued to constrain cargo capacity, which saw a comparatively slower increase of 17.8% year-over-year. . As a result, the average international freight load factor of 76.0% for the month was close to the all-time high reached in July.
Commenting on the results, AAPA Managing Director Subhas Menon said: âInternational travel markets in Asia are stagnant, while the gradual recovery has picked up in other regions. Meanwhile, demand for air cargo continues to drive air operations in the region.
Menon added, âWhile the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant indicates that there is no immediate end in view of the global pandemic, the acceleration of the rollout of national immunization in a number of economies. Asia is a positive step towards resuming air travel. , as evidenced by the gradual relaxation of border controls in some countries. Indeed, some governments in the region have started to pave the way for the recent reopening of certain destinations to national and international arrivals. “
He noted: âNonetheless, immunization inequity remains a major stumbling block to reopening borders in the region, especially in places that have little or no access to vaccines. With travel and tourism being the main contributors to many economies in the region, the lack of progress on this front will continue to impact the many livelihoods that depend on these sectors.
âIn addition to accelerating access to vaccines, we also call on governments to refrain from unilateral border measures that will only serve to hinder the much needed recovery of air transport and the economy in general. The AAPA continues to advocate for an objective, risk-based basis for easing border restrictions for travel without quarantine, in accordance with WHO and ICAO guidelines. “