APAC carriers see rise in passenger traffic
Published: Sep 28, 2011
Asia Pacific - There has been an increase in international air passenger markets despite a dismal freight demand for the month of August according to traffic figures issued by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
AAPA noted that Asia Pacific (APAC) airlines ferried 17 million passengers in August - a 3.9% improvement as compared to the same month in 2010.
Measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by 5.3%, reflective of a good demand in long haul routes. Available seat capacity also grew by 6% due to a 0.6% drop in the average international passenger load factor.
International air cargo demand, however, was 5.8% lower compared to the same month last year. Expressed in freight tonne kilometers (FTK), the region's carriers' cargo capacity shrank by 1.3%, a 3.1% point decline in the average international freight load factor.
"For the first eight months of the year, Asia Pacific based airlines carried 126 million passengers, 3.5% upon the same period last year. However, air cargo demand remains relatively weak compared to last year's strong performance, with a 3.8% decline in freight traffic for the first eight months of this year," Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said.
He also commented that while passenger air travel demand, supported by continued growth in both business and leisure travel, remains relatively strong, the cargo markets are still weak. And while many of the APAC economies still show solid growth, the bad global economic outlook could be a potential threat to both business and consumer confidence.
AAPA also noted that high fuel costs can affect airline margins.
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