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Published on : Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Preliminary traffic figures for the month of November released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed robust growth in international air passenger demand, whereas air cargo markets remained weak.
A combined total of 22.5 million international passengers were carried by the region’s airlines in November, reflecting a 6.7% increase compared to the same month last year. Measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), demand grew by a healthy 8.7%, on the back of robust leisure travel markets. The average international passenger load factor strengthened by 2.1 percentage points to 76.8% for the month, after accounting for a 5.7% expansion in available seat capacity.
On the other hand, air cargo demand, in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, declined by 2.4% in November, with key manufacturing economies experiencing soft market conditions as a result of the slowdown in international trade. After accounting for a 1.8% expansion in offered freight capacity, the average international freight load factor fell by 2.9 percentage points to 65.7% for the month.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “Air passenger markets continued to record strong growth in November. For the eleven month period of January to November 2015, Asian airlines carried a total of 252 million international passengers, representing growth of 8.1%. Demand remained strong in spite of the overall weakness in Asian currencies, and the moderation in emerging market economies.”
Mr. Herdman added, “By contrast, growth in air cargo demand narrowed to a 1.8% increase for the first eleven months of the year, dampened by the general slowdown in global trade.”
Mr. Herdman concluded, “Air passenger demand remains strong, supported by affordable airfares resulting from persistently low oil prices. Less encouragingly, the air cargo business is suffering from the effects of market weakness in major trading economies, signs of inventory overhang and excess capacity. Overall, the region’s airlines are focused on responding appropriately to evolving patterns of market demand, whilst making efforts to increase operational efficiency and boost profitability.”