Asia Pacific international air passenger demand strengthens in May

ASIA PACIFIC. Preliminary May 2022 traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reveal that international air passenger demand strengthened markedly year-on-year against a low base.

International passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines increased more than five-fold to 7.3 million, with demand rising to 23.6% of the volumes recorded in May 2019.

The year-on-year leap in demand – combined with an +114.8% expansion in available seat capacity – led to a +43.7% increase in the average international passenger load factor to 71.5% for the month.

On the rebound: Asia Pacific airlines are making progress in the long climb back to pre-pandemic traffic levels

AAPA Director General Subhas Menon said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world in many ways. Yet, what hasn’t changed is people’s desire to travel, as evidenced by the strong uplift in international travel upon the lifting of border control measures across the region.

“As the region’s airlines emerge from the deepest and most prolonged crisis ever faced, keeping a lid on costs remains vital, as escalating fuel expenditure, higher labour and maintenance costs, on top of substantially heavier debt burdens, threaten to undermine the already fragile financial recovery.

“In addition, airlines face increasing operational constraints as the air transport ecosystem strives to keep up with the ramp-up in demand.”

He concluded: “Nevertheless, the healthy increase in international passenger demand and corresponding recovery in load factors lends some cause for optimism, as the region’s airlines continue to streamline operations while investing to improve the travel experience as part of ongoing efforts to achieve a sustainable and technology-enabled future for air transport.”

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