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Of course there is more to the air freight industry than demand growth — profitability matters, too. Most carriers do not include revenue data in their monthly statistics, but we note that the two that do (Taiwan-based EVA and China Airlines) reported cargo revenue up much more strongly than cargo traffic. Whether these two carriers’ revenue growth is representative of the whole industry remains to be seen.
Beijing-based Air China reported April cargo traffic up 9.7 percent y-o-y, to 647 million RTKs. International traffic was up 12.8 percent over May 2016, to 503 million RTKs, while domestic traffic was almost flat (up 0.2 percent), at 135 million RTKs. The much smaller regional traffic was down 1.6 percent to 9.5 million RTKs. For the year through May, Air China’s cargo traffic was up 6 percent to 2.89 billion RTKs.
Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines reported May cargo traffic up 23.4 percent y-o-y to 626 million RTKs. The overall growth came on the back of a 33.1-percent jump in international traffic to 480 million RTKs, while domestic traffic was down slightly (0.5 percent) to 144 million RTKs. For the first five months of the year, China Southern’s cargo traffic was up 16.8 percent to 2.16 billion RTKs.
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