Positive passenger and cargo growth for Asia Pacific airlines in March

Monday, 28 April 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of March 2014 show positive growth in both international passenger and air cargo traffic. Asia Pacific-based airlines carried a combined total of 21.2 million international passengers in March, 2.7% more than the same month last year when leisure travel demand experienced a boost from the earlier timing of the Easter holiday period, which took place in April this year. International passenger traffic, in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, grew by 2.1%. Combined with the 5.8% expansion in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor fell by 2.8 percentage points to 76.7% for the month. Boosted by stronger export markets, the region’s carriers registered a 6.7% increase in international freight demand as measured in freight tonne kilometre terms. Offered freight capacity grew by a measured 5.9%, and consequently the average international air cargo load factor for Asia Pacific carriers edged 0.5 percentage points higher to 68.4%, the first increase seen in over a year. Commenting on the results, AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said: “For the first quarter of the year, international passenger numbers grew by 5.6% to an aggregate total of 62 million, as a result of generally positive business and consumer sentiment in most markets. During the same period, international freight markets saw an encouraging 3.8% growth in traffic, with further evidence of a pick-up in international trade, leading to stronger demand for Asian exports.” Looking ahead, Herdman added: “Asian carriers continue to face a challenging operating environment marked by increased competition pressuring yields, whilst on the cost side of the equation many carriers have been adversely affected by volatile currency markets. Nevertheless, the overall demand outlook remains broadly positive, driven by expectations of further improvements to global economic conditions including a long awaited recovery in international trading activity.”