Asia Pacific-based airlines carried a combined total of 16.1 million international passengers in January 2011, an 8% increase over the same month last year.
In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by 6.5%. Available seat capacity grew by 7.8%, with an average international passenger load factor of 78.5%.
International air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) grew by 6.5% in January compared to the same month last year, whilst offered freight capacity expanded by 9.3%, resulting in a 1.7 percentage point decline in the average international cargo load factor to 65.7%.
“Asia Pacific based carriers started 2011 on a positive note, with continued growth in demand for both passenger and cargo services. For the month of January, the number of international passengers carried exceeded the December figure, underpinned by leisure travel extending from the holiday period and firm demand for premium class seats. January’s freight volumes were also reasonably solid, although growth will be moderating compared to the major rebound seen in 2010,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General. “Asia Pacific carriers are projecting further growth in aviation markets this year, with the introduction of new services and frequencies in the coming months. At the same time, Asian carriers are bracing themselves for new challenges, with sharply higher oil prices already pushing up the cost of air travel and adding to uncertainties over the outlook for continued growth in the global economy.”