Healthy increase in passenger numbers for APAC carriers


KUALA LUMPUR – The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has released its preliminary traffic figures for the month of November, highlighting slight improvement in air cargo demand, with further expansion in the international passenger traffic.

Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried a combined total of 17.0 million international passengers in November, an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to the same month last year, supported by healthy demand on regional routes.

In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by 7.9 per cent, whilst available seat capacity expanded by a slower 3.5 per cent, resulting in a 3.1 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 76.7 per cent for the month.

Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said, "Overall, during the first eleven months of the year, Asia Pacific carriers saw a healthy 7.1 per cent increase in international passenger numbers. On the other hand, the air cargo market has had another disappointing year, with international freight traffic down a cumulative 3.6 per cent on last year's levels, reflecting weak demand for Asian exports to the major developed markets, particularly Europe."

Herdman added, "As we come to the end of another challenging year, Asian carriers have seen some very encouraging growth in passenger demand throughout 2012, but the weak air cargo market held back overall revenue growth. On the cost side, high fuel prices kept up the pressure on already thin operating margins. Airlines responded by accelerating the deployment of newer more fuel-efficient aircraft, and carefully managing capacity to match changing demand patterns. Despite uncertainty over the global economic outlook, Asian airlines are continuing to invest for the future, including both fleet development and customer service innovation."

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