Preliminary traffic figures for the month of July released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed moderate expansion in international air passenger markets, whilst international air cargo demand forged ahead, registering another month of solid growth.
The region’s airlines carried a combined total of 27.7 million international passengers in July, representing a 3.4% increase compared to the same month last year. There was a 6.2% increase in demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) and available seat capacity rose by 6.8%, leading to a 0.5 percentage point decline in the average international passenger load factor to 81.5% for the month.
Air cargo demand, in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), recorded a double-digit increase of 10.9% in July, supported by new business orders from developed economies, particularly Europe. The average international freight load factor of 66.0% was 3.8 percentage points higher than the same month last year, after accounting for a 4.4% expansion in offered freight capacity.
Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general said, “The first seven months of the year saw Asian airlines carry a combined total of 182 million international passengers, 5.3% more than the same period last year. Whilst competition remained intense, international passenger demand continued to be spurred by the availability of affordable airfares and increased network connections.
“Meanwhile, air cargo markets experienced a firm 10.4% increase in volumes during the January – July period, on the back of positive global business conditions. Further expansion in manufacturing output and new business orders helped boost air shipment volumes of both intermediate and finished goods.”
“The overall demand outlook remains positive, with the steady expansion in the global economy supporting both air passenger and air cargo markets. However, given the highly competitive market conditions, Asia Pacific airlines are focusing on carefully managing costs whilst at the same time looking for new revenue opportunities to support future growth and maintain profitability.”