Traffic growth in the Asia Pacific region continues, with the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reporting 18.6 million international passengers carried by the region’s airlines in March, 7.4 per cent higher than during the same month last year.
The results reflected sustained growth in business travel markets and robust demand for leisure travel during the Easter holiday period.
Measured in revenue passenger kilometres, international passenger traffic increased by 5.4 per cent, reflecting relatively strong demand on regional routes. Available seat capacity was up by 2.9 per cent, resulting in a 1.8 per cent increase in average load factors.
However, continuing recent trends, Asia Pacific carriers reported a 3.1 per cent decline in international airfreight demand compared to the same month last year. Combined with a 2.1 per cent reduction in freight capacity, the average international cargo load factor fell slightly by 0.6 percentage points, to 69.2 per cent.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said: “During the first quarter of the year, Asia Pacific airlines saw international passenger numbers increase by an encouraging 5.7 per cent compared to last year, but international freight demand fell 4.0 per cent during the same period. While international passenger demand continues to be underpinned by solid economic growth within the Asia Pacific region, international airfreight demand remains soft, reflecting continuing weakness in key export markets.”