Asia Pacific carriers post healthy growth in traffic in November

ASIA PACIFIC. Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried a combined total of 17 million international passengers in November, an increase of +8.4% compared to the same month last year, supported by healthy demand on regional routes. That’s according to preliminary traffic figures for the month, released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by +7.9%, while available seat capacity expanded by a slower +3.5%, resulting in a 3.1 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 76.7% for the month.

International air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, was +0.9% above the levels of November last year, a slight improvement on the weaker trend so far this year.

AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said: “Overall, during the first eleven months of the year, Asia Pacific carriers saw a healthy +7.1% increase in international passenger numbers. On the other hand, the air cargo market has had another disappointing year, with international freight traffic down a cumulative -3.6% on last year’s levels, reflecting weak demand for Asian exports to the major developed markets, particularly Europe.”

Herdman added: “As we come to the end of another challenging year, Asian carriers have seen some very encouraging growth in passenger demand throughout 2012, but the weak air cargo market held back overall revenue growth.

“On the cost side, high fuel prices kept up the pressure on already thin operating margins. Airlines responded by accelerating the deployment of newer more fuel-efficient aircraft, and carefully managing capacity to match changing demand patterns. Despite uncertainty over the global economic outlook, Asian airlines are continuing to invest for the future, including both fleet development and customer service innovation.”

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