Asia Pacific Airlines Traffic Results – October 2012


KUALA LUMPUR - Preliminary traffic figures for the month of October released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed a continuation of established trends, with growth in international passenger traffic, but weakness in air cargo demand.

In aggregate, Asia Pacific airlines carried a combined total of 17.0 million international passengers in October, a 2.7 per cent increase compared to the same month last year.  Measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by 2.1 per cent, underlining continued strength for regional routes.  Available seat capacity increased by just 0.9 per cent, resulting in a 0.9 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 76.6 per cent for the month.

International air cargo demand, expressed in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, declined by 5.8 per cent year-on-year in October, a reflection of overall weakness in air cargo markets.  Offered freight capacity was reduced by 6.1 per cent, leaving the average international air cargo load factor almost unchanged at 67.4 per cent.

Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "During the first ten months of the year, Asia Pacific carriers were encouraged by the 6.9 per cent growth seen in international passenger demand.  However, traffic numbers for the month of October indicate a continuation of the slower growth trend already apparent in the third quarter of the year, with regional traffic holding up relatively well, but some softening of demand for long-haul travel markets."

"Global air cargo markets are still depressed, with volumes for the first ten months of the year 4.0 per cent down on last year's levels.  Overall, the air cargo market is characterized by weak demand and excess capacity, maintaining downward pressure on rates."

Herdman concluded, "Asia Pacific airlines are still facing a very challenging operating environment, clouded by uncertainties over the global economic outlook.  Competitive market pressures, and the impact of persistently high fuel prices, have pushed up breakeven load factors, and are spurring further efforts to deploy newer more fuel-efficient aircraft, whilst carefully managing overall capacity."

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