AAPA traffic report shows growth in Asia Pacific airlines

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Kuala Lumpur, November 27, 2014 (STAT):- Preliminary traffic figures for the month of October released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed continued growth in both international passenger numbers and air cargo demand.

In aggregate, Asia Pacific airlines carried a total of 21.9 million international passengers in October, 6.9% more than the same month last year, with positive economic conditions in the region lending support to business and leisure travel markets. Demand in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms increased by 5.3%, reflecting the relative strength of regional travel markets. Available seat capacity also increased by 6.9%, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point fall in the average international passenger load factor to 75.3%.

International air freight demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), grew by a firm 6.4% in October, on the back of buoyant demand for electronic goods from manufacturing hubs in North Asia. Combined with a more modest 3.8% increase in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor climbed 1.5 percentage points to average 66.4% for the month.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "During the first ten months of the year, Asia Pacific airlines carried a combined total of 212.5 million international passengers, an increase of 4.8% compared to the same period last year. Air freight markets grew by 5.1% within the same period. Generally positive regional economic conditions and trade gains provided support for continued growth in both passenger and cargo market segments."

Mr. Herdman added, "Whilst the longer term demand outlook is positive, Asian airlines continue to grapple with numerous challenges, including persistent yield pressures arising from intense market competition and signs of overcapacity, which has led to tight profit margins. With fuel being the single largest cost item for airlines, the recent decline in oil prices, if sustained, has been perceived as a welcome reprieve. However, in a highly competitive market, the impact on the bottom-line will depend on individual carriers' fuel hedging policies. Overall, Asian carriers remain positive on the outlook for further growth, but are still carefully controlling costs in a bid to restore profitability to more sustainable levels."

 
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