Preliminary figures for the full calendar year 2010 released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) confirm the strong rebound in traffic demand, bolstered by robust economic growth in Asia and an overall improvement in global economic conditions.
In 2010, Asia Pacific carriers carried 185 million international passengers, 13% more than in the previous year. Passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometre terms (RPK) grew by 9.8%, reflecting particularly strong demand on regional routes.
Capacity growth for the year was a relatively restrained 4.1%, resulting in a 4.1 percentage point improvement in the average international passenger load factor to 78.5%.
Asia Pacific international air cargo demand rebounded strongly in 2010, growing by 24.2% in freight tonne kilometre terms (FTK), following declines of 10% and 7% in 2009 and 2008 respectively. Even with a 15.5% expansion in capacity, the average international cargo load factor for 2010 gained 4.9 percentage points to reach 70%, a record high.
“Asia Pacific carriers enjoyed a year of solid growth, with robust demand for both leisure and business travel, and the strong rebound in international trade, led by dynamic growth of the Asia Pacific region,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General.
“Reported monthly growth rates have naturally moderated as the recovery phase is completed, but encouragingly both passenger and cargo traffic volumes have now surpassed their pre-recession peaks.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said, “Given expectations of further sustained growth in traffic demand, the outlook for the new year remains broadly positive. Indeed, the prevailing shift of political influence and commercial dynamism towards Asia should result in players from the region playing an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the air transport industry. Beyond achieving further commercial success in 2011, the region’s airlines are committed to concerted action and taking leadership on global regulatory issues.”