Asia Pacific passenger and cargo traffic rises

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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Traffic figures for the month of April released yesterday by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed growth in international air passenger and air cargo demand at an encouraging pace.

A combined total of 29.8m international passengers were carried by the region’s airlines this April, representing a robust 9.3% increase compared to the same month last year. Overall, demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased by 8.3% year-on-year, ahead of the 7.2% expansion in available seat capacity, taking the average international passenger load factor to 81.5% for the month.

International air cargo demand for the region’s carriers, in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), also saw an encouraging 5.8% year-on-year increase in April, driven by expansions in global service and manufacturing sectors. This follows the strong 9.6% annual increase recorded in 2017. After accounting for a 6.6% expansion in available freight capacity, the average international freight load factor was 0.5 percentage points lower at 64.1% for the month.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “The global economy is still on a solid footing, with growth in most sectors, including technology and consumer goods. Accordingly, business and consumer sentiment remained relatively positive, underpinning further growth in passenger travel and air cargo demand.”

Reporting encouraging year-on-year growth in the regional industry, Herdman contemplates the year ahead. “Sustained growth in the region and the wider global economic expansion lends credence to a positive market outlook for the remainder of the year. However, operating conditions remain challenging, with airlines still facing intense competition and the pressure of sharply higher fuel costs, up more than 30% compared to last year.”

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