Published on : Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Preliminary traffic figures for the month of March released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed that international air
passenger demand continued to grow at an encouraging pace, whilst the expansion in air
cargo markets accelerated further.
Underpinned by positive business and consumer sentiment, the region’s carriers
recorded a 4.2% increase in the number of international passengers carried to a
combined total of 25.5 million. Encouraging growth in long haul travel markets was
reflected in the 6.7% rise in demand, as measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK)
terms. The average international passenger load factor edged 1.1 percentage points
higher to 78.6%, after accounting for a 5.2% increase in available seat capacity.
In March, manufacturing production of major Asian economies expanded at a steady
pace, on the back of continued rise in new business orders.
This helped support export import activity, in turn benefitting the air cargo sector. As a result, the month saw the region’s carriers register a healthy 12.7% increase in international air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK). Offered freight capacity expanded by a comparatively modest 3.0%, resulting in a significant rise in the average international freight load factor, by 5.8 percentage points to reach 67.6% for the month.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “During
the first quarter of the year, Asian carriers reported a 4.8% increase in the number of
international passengers carried to an aggregate total of 76 million. Growth in passenger
traffic volumes remained relatively encouraging, supported by the widespread availability
of affordable airfares.”