Cargo numbers for Asia-Pacific carriers continue to decline amid uncertainty in global business sentiments, trade tensions and falling exports.

According to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), freight demand, measured as FTKs, shrunk 7.7% year-on-year (YOY) for July.

The demand decline, against a flat cargo capacity growth of 0.4%, led to a 5.2-point drop in the average cargo load factor, to 58.9%.

“Global trade conditions deteriorated further, as higher tariffs disrupted global supply chains, and Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand fall by 6.2% during the first seven months of the year. The weakness in air cargo markets is likely to extend into the coming months, unless we see some meaningful progress in trade negotiations,” AAPA director general Andrew Herdman said.

However, passenger numbers continue to rise steadily, up 3.4% YOY. The report’s 39 airlines carried a combined 32.5 million passengers, a passenger demand, measured as RPKs, grew 2.7% YOY. Capacity grew 2.7% YOY as average load factor stayed flat at 82.4%. Compared across the first seven months, passengers carried and RPKs grew 4.6% and 4.2% YOY, respectively.

“The number of international passengers carried by Asian airlines grew by 4.6% to a combined 219 million, supported by the availability of competitive airfares and expanding networks. In addition, sustained expansion in major Asian emerging and developing economies fueled the appetite for international travel,” Herdman added.

Chen Chuanren,