AAPA witnesses growth in passenger and air cargo markets
MAY 27, 2015: Preliminary traffic figures for the month of April released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed encouraging growth in both international passenger and air cargo markets. A combined total of 23.0 million international passengers were carried by Asia Pacific airlines in April, a strong 9.6 percent increase compared to the same month last year, supported by robust leisure travel markets during the Easter holidays. Demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) grew by 8.2 percent, surpassing the 5.7 percent expansion in available seat capacity to result in a 1.8 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 78.1 percent for the month. Air cargo markets continued to grow, in spite of April being a seasonally subdued month. In freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, demand was 3.7 percent higher than the same month last year. Offered freight capacity expanded by 4.7 percent, leading to a slight 0.6 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 63.5 percent in April. Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "The growth in demand for air travel has maintained strong momentum, with the region's carriers registering a solid 9.4 percent increase in the number of international passengers carried to a cumulative total of 90.7 million for the first four months of 2015. Correspondingly, air cargo markets recorded a 7.2 percent increase for the same period, partly boosted by increased demand for air shipments due to the backlog of goods at US seaports." Looking ahead, Herdman added, "The positive trend in air passenger demand is expected to continue, consistent with improvements in consumer and business confidence and projected growth in the global economy. The outlook for air freight demand in the coming months is more uncertain, given this is a seasonally weaker period, and will depend on the pace of recovery in world trade being maintained."