Preliminary financial performance figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show the region’s carriers achieved US$5.2 billion in combined net profits in 2012, 6.7 per cent above the reported results for 2011.
Sustained growth in passenger traffic helped mitigate what the AAPA called a challenging operating environment marked by prolonged weakness in air cargo markets and persistently high jet fuel prices.
Aggregate operating revenue for the region’s carriers grew by 7.6 per cent to reach US$175.0 billion. The improvement was underpinned by an 8.5 per cent growth in passenger revenue to US$133.5 billion. In contrast, cargo revenues declined by 3.3 per cent to US$21.1 billion.
Commenting on the 2012 financial results, AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said: “Asia Pacific airlines in general recorded a modest improvement in their overall financial performance for 2012, underpinned by sustained economic growth driving further growth in passenger demand in both business and leisure travel markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
“Prudent capacity management maintained relatively high load factors, helping to offset the impact of persistently high fuel prices and an extended period of weak demand in the global air cargo market.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said: “With consumer and business confidence both holding up relatively well in the Asia Pacific region, we are seeing further growth in passenger numbers this year.”