Published on : Thursday, September 29, 2016
Preliminary traffic figures for the month of August released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed a moderation in both international air passenger demand and air cargo markets.
The region’s airlines carried a total of 25.9 million international passengers in August, 4.1% more than the same month last year. Measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger demand grew by 4.2%, supported by traffic growth on both regional and long haul routes. However, capacity expansion of 6.2% out-paced the growth in demand, resulting in a 1.5 percentage point decline in the average international passenger load factor to 81.5% for the month.
Asia Pacific airlines saw international air cargo demand in August grow by 2.5% in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms. The average international freight load factor edged marginally higher by 0.1 percentage points to 60.5% in August, on a 2.3% increase in offered freight capacity.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “For the first eight months of the year, Asian carriers registered a healthy 6.5% increase in the number of international passengers carried to a cumulative total of 196.3 million, on the back of continued strong demand for both business and leisure travel.”
Mr. Herdman said global freight markets remained subdued, noting that “Asia Pacific airlines saw generally lacklustre international air cargo demand for the January-August period, registering a 0.7% volume decline compared to the same period last year, although the shortfall has narrowed following a modest uptick in recent months.”
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman concluded, “Asian economies are still growing, and demand for air travel has been boosted by rising incomes and the widespread availability of affordable airfares, but growth rates may moderate as oil prices have now stabilised, adding to competitive pressures. For the air cargo markets, the persistent weakness in global trade conditions remains a concern, with rates remaining depressed despite the recent uptick in air cargo activity.”