By Tyrone Jasper C. Piad | Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 18, 2023
MANILA -Air cargo traffic in the Asia Pacific showed an uptick for the first time since March last year as trading activities picked up, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In a report, IATA noted the region registered a 0.9-percent annual growth in July, an improvement from the 7.2-percent drop in June.
“Asia Pacific airlines experienced their first year-on-year growth in cargo traffic since March 2022, driven by increased trade with other regions and significant market improvements within Asia,” it said.
IATA noted air cargo traffic was driven by movements across Europe-Asia, Middle East-Asia, Africa-Asia and intra-Asian routes.
Globally, IATA said air cargo capacity has been showing improvement because of the “continued restoration of belly cargo capacity during the summer season.”
In the first half, Philippine Airlines reported that its cargo revenues dropped by 51 percent to P3.81 billion “as many cargo charter flights were discontinued to give way to more passenger flights to meet the surge in demand.”
Cebu Pacific, meanwhile, saw its cargo revenues decline by 44 percent to nearly P2 billion in the first semester because of “lower cargo kilograms flown and lower yield from cargo services.”
Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that cargo traffic dropped by 10 percent to 413.39 million kilograms (kg) last year from 460.03 million kg in 2021.
The bulk of these were international shipments, which dropped by 9 percent to 364.24 million kg during the period. Domestic cargo, meanwhile, slipped by 18 percent to 49.15 million kg last year.