Passenger load for airlines in Asia Pacific up 12% in February
Monday, 30 March 2015 00:33
Air freight demand achieved an impressive 20.5% growth
Preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of February 2015 show strong growth in both international air passenger and air cargo markets.
An aggregate total of 21.8 million international passengers flew on the region’s carriers in February, a firm 11.9% increase compared to the same month last year, boosted by strong leisure travel demand during the Chinese New Year festive period.
Measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), international passenger demand increased by 9.9%, underscoring particularly robust growth in regional travel markets. Traffic growth exceeded the 8.0% expansion in available seat capacity, resulting in a 1.3 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 78.1% for the month, in contrast to the general trend of slightly weaker load factors seen over the past year.
International air cargo demand, as measured in freight ton kilometres (FTK) registered a hefty 20.5% jump in February, outpacing a 12.6% increase in offered freight capacity, which resulted in a 4.2 percentage points increase in the average international freight load factor, to 65.2%.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General, said, “The timing of the Chinese New Year holiday period affects the monthly comparisons, but taken together, the first two months of the year saw an 8.2% increase in the number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines to a combined total of 44.3 million, buoyed by healthy demand to major holiday destinations in the region.”
“Air freight demand achieved an impressive 12.8% increase during the same two month period, with robust demand for Asian exports, particularly to North America where the recent port dispute affected some maritime shipping operations.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said, “The demand outlook for Asian carriers remains broadly positive, supported by the benefits of lower oil prices. Nevertheless, Asian airlines are having to carefully match capacity growth with actual demand, whilst coping with the effects of increased currency volatility affecting both costs and revenues.”