Asian Air cargo drops sharply in November

23.12.2008   (Air Cargo World)

Air cargo demand in Asia fell sharply in November, according to the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines. November was the seventh straight month of accelerating
declines and suffered the sixth consecutive monthly contraction.

As demand weakens, the airlines have been cutting capacity. November was the
eighth straight month of declining capacity and it’s been 14 months since Asian
carriers have added freight capacity at any substantial level.

International cargo volume declined 15.5% in November, from 5.1 billion freight
ton kilometers in November 2007 to 4.3 billion FTK this year.

Airlines couldn’t cut capacity fast enough to keep up. ¬† ¬†Available freight ton
kilometers dropped 8.9% from 7.4 billion FATK a year ago to 6.7 billion FATK in
November this year

The report comes as new figures show export business in Asia is in free-fall.
Japanese exports fell 27 percent in November, the government there reported, and
Taiwan exports were off 23 percent.

“The dramatic slowdown in global economic activity in the second half of the
year is now reflected in sharply weaker demand for air travel and cargo shipments,”
said Andrew Herdman, director general of AAPA.

“The recent plunge in oil prices provides a measure of relief, but market conditions
are expected to remain extremely difficult moving into 2009, forcing airlines
to adopt additional cost-saving measures, including capacity cutbacks and deferral
of planned capital expenditures,” Herdman said.