The luster has come off Southeast Asia's seemingly limitless capacity for growth.
For one, Swissport announced in January that it was pulling out of Changi airport, the epicenter of the region's airfreight activities. Like its smaller rivals, Singapore Airlines also has been hit by the global economic slowdown. SIA Cargo suffered a $46m loss in the period, down from a $76m profit a year earlier.
Thai Airways, which does not operate any freighters, has expressed a desire to push back the delivery dates of the six A330 aircraft it has on order for this year.
MASkargo was due to return one of its leased 747-200Fs at the end of last year, trimming its cargo fleet of six 747 freighters (four of them -200 models) and one A300F (all of them leased). MASkargo head Shahari Sulaiman has indicated that he intends to shrink capacity by eight percent in 2009.
"Volumes are down 20 to30 percent," says Steve Dearnley, chief executive for Asia-Pacific of DB Schenker.
Source: Air Cargo World
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