Strong demand in Asian economies helped drive a 7.3 per cent February increase in air cargo volumes measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
The association said growth was “underpinned by positive business and consumer sentiment” across major advanced and emerging market economies.
AAPA said buoyant demand coupled with further expansion in export activity contributed to further growth in trade activity in the region.
In February, combined with the 8.2 per cent increase in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor of 59.5 per cent was 0.5 percentage points lower than the same month last year.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said robust manufacturing activity boosted air cargo volumes, and Asian airlines registered an 8.2 per cent increase in air cargo demand during the first two months of the year.
Looking ahead, Herdman added, “The ongoing positive global economic momentum provides continued optimism for further expansion in the aviation markets in the coming months. Nevertheless, the recent rise in protectionist rhetoric poses some risks to trade and business activity.
“Overall, Asian airlines continue to exercise vigilance in identifying any further changes in operating conditions, whilst seeking opportunities in growth markets.”