Asian carriers are used to doing much better than this. In April, members of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines recorded a paltry 0.7 percent rise in international freight ton kilometers, while their load factors declined 1.7 points to 65.8 percent. The cumulative picture for the first four months of the year is little better, showing less than 2 percent growth.
Air cargo growth around the globe has been sluggish, trailing increases in the airlines' passenger business. The International Air Transport Association said passenger traffic for the January-April period showed a 6.7 percent rise over last year while cargo advanced a more sluggish 2.6 percent.
"The cargo business is still growing, but competition with other modes of transport is severe," says Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and chief executive. "And sea shipping is taking a greater proportion of the benefits from the economic boom."
Forwarders confirm that some traditional air cargo has been diverted to ocean transportation, and operators on Asia-Pacific routes have felt the impact the most.
Source: Air Cargo World, http://www.aircargoworld.com
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.