On September 28, 2021, the Asia Pacific Aviation Association (AAPA) released the production data for August 2021. Data show that driven by the booming e-commerce and the continuous expansion of demand for intermediate goods, the international Air freight services market in the Asia-Pacific region has maintained a certain degree of resilience. However, as the new crown virus continues to mutate and spread, the governments of Asia-Pacific countries still maintain relatively strict immigration control measures, and the international air passenger transport market is still weak.
In terms of passenger transportation, passenger travel demand remains sluggish. In August, the airline's international passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region was less than 1.4 million, which was only 4.0% of the same period in 2019, but it was an increase of 57.1% compared with the same period last year; the available seat-kilometer was only 13.7% of the pre-pandemic level. But it has increased by 50.1% year-on-year; the passenger load factor of international flights is still hovering at a low level, only 34.7%. At present, the Delta mutant strain is becoming a major global epidemic of the new coronavirus mutant strain due to its significantly enhanced transmission ability, adding new variables to the development of the global epidemic. However, countries in the region continue to accelerate the promotion of vaccination and serve the international air passenger market. The recovery of the country has taken positive steps.
In terms of freight, the demand for freight transportation has grown steadily. The supply congestion of major ports in the world has prevented ships from being transported. The forced lengthening of the shipping cycle and the rising cost of transportation and storage have increased the demand for air transportation in international trade. Specifically, as early as the beginning of the epidemic, international trade was significantly reduced. In order to reduce operating costs, shipping companies abolished routes and ships on a large scale to reduce capacity to maintain trade and transportation.
However, relying on its institutional advantages, my country has recovered from the epidemic and quickly resumed production. The intensified overseas epidemic has made traditional manufacturing products in Europe and the United States highly dependent on my country's exports. Therefore, after the third quarter of 2020, container shipping companies have begun to restore capacity on a large scale.
Up to now, the global active container capacity has increased by approximately 5% year-on-year. However, factors such as insufficient loading and unloading capacity at overseas ports and poor port logistics have aggravated global port congestion. However, my country’s largest ports of Yantian and Ningbo were partially blocked due to cases in May and August this year, exacerbating global containers. The shortage situation pushed up the trans-Pacific ocean freight FBX index. Therefore, in August, the demand for international air cargo in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of freight ton-kilometers increased by 26.0% year on year. Although the demand is recovering steadily, due to limited belly space and limited capacity growth, it only increased by 17.8% year-on-year, and the growth rate lags behind demand (freight ton-kilometers). That month, the Asia-Pacific region’s international freight load factor was 76.0%, close to the historical high in July.