The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) preliminary October 2020 traffic figures show that air cargo demand remained “relatively firm”.
While the demand in October 2020 — measured in freight tonne km (FTKs) — was 5.477m, this was still 13% lower than in the same period 2019. The AAPA noted that this was due to the lack of passenger service bellyhold space. Consequently, the average international freight load factor climbed 9.7 percentage points higher to 71.4% for the month.
The association also suggested: “air cargo reinforces the need to restore network connectivity given potential capacity shortages”.
Subhas Menon, AAPA director general, commented:“Prolonged border restrictions have led to precipitous declines in air traffic and global connectivity, with Asia Pacific [passenger traffic] alone suffering a 76% plunge.
“As 2021 beckons, Asia Pacific aviation is ready and willing to play its part in a successful restart and recovery. Airlines will also play a critical role in ensuring that the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines is accomplished in a timely and efficient manner once the necessary regulatory approvals have been confirmed and production can be scaled up accordingly.”
Menon concluded: “AAPA calls on governments to redouble their efforts to work cooperatively with other governments and industry stakeholders to safely restart international air travel.
“New ICAO guidance materials developed in conjunction with WHO, CDC and ECDC, recommend incorporating harmonised testing as part of a multi-layered and risk-managed approach to facilitate international air transport.”
mstill 13% lower than in the same period last year.