Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region saw their international cargo volumes decline by more than 15% last year as the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak took its toll.
Figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show that in 2020 international scheduled cargo traffic declined by 15.5% year on year to 60.2bn freight tonne kms (FTK).
Non-scheduled and charter operations, which AAPA does not include, would have helped offset some of the declines.
Meanwhile, cargo capacity fell by the higher amount of 24.4% on a year earlier, pushing up the cargo load factor for the year by 7 percentage points to 59.4%.
In December, cargo traffic fell by 6.4% compared with last year to 5.8bn FTK, while the load factor increased by 12.2 percentage points to 71.9%.
The organisation said that last year cargo yields offered a welcome boost to operating revenues but added that airlines continue to face an existential crisis with commercial passenger operations remaining at a standstill.
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