July 29, 2016: Preliminary traffic figures for the month of June released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed continued healthy growth in international air passenger demand. Air cargo demand also saw some modest growth for the first time since the start of the year.
A total of 23.6 million international passengers were carried by Asia Pacific airlines in May, 7.9 percent more than in the same month last year. In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger demand grew by 7.5 percent. Combined with the 6.5 percent expansion in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor rose by 0.7 percentage point to 78.5 percent for the month.
Air freight volumes for Asian airlines grew by 4.1 percent as measured in freight tonnekilometre (FTK) terms. Offered freight capacity increased by 3.6 percent, leading to a 0.3 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 63.6 percent for the month.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "In the first six months of 2016, Asian airlines saw a healthy 6.2 percent increase in the number of international passengers carried to reach an aggregate total of 144 million. International air cargo demand remained subdued, registering a 2.5 percent decline for the first half of the year, although the uptick in the June figures is mildly encouraging."
Looking ahead, Herdman concluded, "The demand outlook for air passenger markets remains positive, consumers are enjoying the benefits of affordable airfares, and an expanding range of services, which are helping to drive the sustained growth in travel demand. The outlook for air cargo remains a concern, reflecting generally weak trading conditions in the global economy. Asian airlines are focused on meeting the growth in travel demand, investing in new aircraft and services, whilst at the same time vigilantly keeping a tight rein on costs in order to deliver improved levels of profitability."