Thursday, 30 May 2013

East Asian air cargo suffers from weak demand

Recently published performance figures for Cathay Pacific - the flag carrier of Hong Kong - and China Airlines and EVA Airways - the two largest carriers of Taiwan - indicate that the air cargo slump is set to continue.

123,805 tonnes of cargo and mail were carried by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair in April,  a year-on-year decrease of 0.6%. Capacity grew by 1.5% but cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres fell 2.4%. China Airlines also registered a 1.65 percent drop in accumulated sales figures for the first 4 months of 2013 compared to 2012. EVA Airways, Taiwan's second largest carrier, saw a 3.35 percent drop in revenue. 

Cathay Pacific's CEO John Slosar remains positive about his company's adaptability. In an interview with Air Cargo Week, he stated, "We didn't anticipate the markets being down for such an extended period, and we have had to be nimble and flexible in our response, cutting back freighter capacity in line with demand at the same time as trying to develop new markets. Our cargo teams have been doing a great job in this regard. We have adapted well to the short-term challenges and at the same time have been looking to the future".

Nevertheless, Slosar's optimism about the future for the air cargo industry is quelled by his doubts about the global economy as a whole. He commented, "[The industry] has been in a slump for more than two years now- an unprecedented length of time - and there is still no indication that things are about to change for the better. There are few positive signs of the world's economy getting back on a firmer footing and the simple fact is that cargo demand won't see any sustained uptick until that happens."

No comments: