Global airfreight, passenger volume drop sharply: aviation body

March 25th, 2009 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, March 25 (DPA) International demand for air cargo recorded a severe dip of 25 per cent for the first two months of 2009, compared to the corresponding period last year, following a crisis in world trade activities, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, or AAPA, said Wednesday.
Asia Pacific airlines also suffered a drop in passenger volume for the first two months, recording a total of 22.6 million passengers or a plunge of 10.5 percent compared to last year.

Airlines have been forced to adopt further cutbacks in capacity and undertake measures to bring costs more into line with dramatically reduced revenues, the association’s director-general Andrew Herdman said.

He said demand for premium services remained weak, as companies across the globe seek to cut costs such as travel expenses.

“The aviation industry faces a deepening crisis with further sharp falls in passenger demand,” said Herdman.

“Meanwhile, the air cargo business, which typically accounts for around 20 percent of total revenues for Asian airlines, is being even more severely impacted by the crippling slowdown in international trade,” he said.

“We can only hope that once this process has run its course, we may see some signs of a modest recovery in cargo volumes, albeit at levels still significantly down on last year.”

The downward trend in passenger and cargo volumes mirrors a similar pattern of dropping demand last year, when AAPA’s 17-member airlines recorded 141.5 million passengers, a 1.8 percent drop from the year before, and a 6.1 percent dip in air cargo.

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