Freight stagnates as passenger demand rises

Traffic results for July released by the International Air Transport Association show that global passenger travel rose 5.9 percent compared with July 2010. However, freight markets were stagnant, with a 0.4 percent decline in demand from the previous year’s level.

6th Sep 2011


 General News

 Freight stagnates as passenger demand rises



Traffic results for July released by the International Air Transport Association show that global passenger travel rose 5.9 percent compared with July 2010. However, freight markets were stagnant, with a 0.4 percent decline in demand from the previous year’s level.
“Passenger travel bucked the gloomy economic outlook with a 5.9 percent increase in July,” says Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer. “This increase was likely based on the much more optimistic economic outlook that marked the beginning of the year.’
Tyler continues: “With business and consumer confidence now tanking, sluggishness in international trade, and high fuel prices, the expectation is for a weaker end to the year. We are already seeing this in the shrinking air freight markets, which were 0.4 percent down on the previous year.”
International passenger markets, which grew 7.3 percent compared with July 2010, remain stronger on average than domestic markets, which showed weaker year-on-year growth of 3.5 percent.
Compared with pre-recession levels of early 2008, international passenger traffic has expanded by 12 percent. Had the industry continued to grow at the pre-recession pace of 8 percent, international markets would have been about 14 percent higher than today’s levels and a quarter higher than pre-recession level.
“This confirms that the global financial crisis has cost airlines about two full years of growth,” IATA says.
Load factors for the combined domestic and international market have improved by half a percentage point over July 2010 to 83.1 percent. This figure matches the highs recorded in the third quarter of 2010. North American carriers (with 86.9 percent) and European carriers (at 84.1 percent) were in the lead.
In the international market, Asia-Pacific increased capacity by 5.8 percent, outpacing demand growth of 4.9 percent. The region’s carriers are still adjusting to two major challenges: slower growth in China and continuing weakness in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year. Load factors for Asian carriers fell slightly to 80.2 percent in July.
Domestic markets were more sluggish. China, with the world’s second-biggest domestic market (18 percent of the global market) expanded just 5.1 percent in the month. The country’s domestic air travel market has been slowing since the second half of last year.
 

 

Hawker Beechcraft opens Beijing HQ


In a move develop its North Asia market further, Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) announced in late August that it is establishing a new regional headquarters in Beijing.
The new office will cover the North Asia region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. In addition, the aircraft manufacturer has increased its investment in the fast-growing Chinese market by adding local employees and strengthening its sales and marketing network in region.
“Hawker Beechcraft continues to demonstrate its commitment and confidence to this growing market, which is of great importance for our overall growth strategy,” says Jeff Anastas, HBC vice president of China, North Asia.
“With the growth of the business aircraft market in China, we anticipate that customers are becoming very discriminating when they choose a business aircraft,” he adds. “With the establishment of our new regional headquarters office in Beijing and a stronger team on the ground, we are in an even better position to grow our market.”
As demand for business aircraft increases in China and the country reforms restrictive regulations for low-altitude airspace, which have slowed growth in the sector up to now, HBC says it is “committed” to bringing its aircraft and services to Chinese customers.
Six Hawker Beechcraft models from the company’s current product line have obtained certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC): the Hawker 4000, Hawker 900, Beechcraft King Air 350i/350ER, Beechcraft King Air C90GTx, Beechcraft Baron G58 and the Beechcraft Bonanza G36. The manufacturer also recently appointed Metrojet as an authorized service centre in Hong Kong.
 


A GULF Air Airbus A320 flight from Bahrain departed the runway at Cochin International Airport, Kochi in South India, breaking its nose wheel and damaging its wings. The aircraft was carrying about 137 passengers and eight crew. As the passengers evacuated through the emergency exits, seven of them sustained injuries. According to sources at Cochin International Airport, initial investigation suggested that heavy rain and strong winds may have been factors contributing to this accident, which caused the airport’s runway to remain closed for about eight hours. India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered an inquiry.
 

 

Asian Aviation at a glance