Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried a total of 256.1 million passengers on international routes in 2014, 4.8% more than in 2013.
According to the latest report from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), sustained growth in Asian economies and robust trade, supported by stronger US markets, helped underpin air travel demand last year. The growth in passenger traffic was slightly outpaced by the expansion of seat capacity however, leading to a 1.0 percentage point drop in load factors, which averaged 77.0% for the year.
“Despite challenges, Asia Pacific airlines enjoyed a year of good growth in international passenger traffic in 2014,” said Andrew Herdman, director general of the AAPA.
“Passenger demand was healthy, underpinned by increasing numbers of middle income earners and further expansion in airline networks, which have all helped boost air travel within the region and beyond. However, passenger yields remained under pressure throughout the year, reflecting the intensely competitive market environment and some signs of overcapacity.”
Herdman added that the outlook for 2015 “remains broadly positive”, with growth in the global economy expected to continue driving demand for international air travel, and lower oil prices helping to keep air travel affordable.
“However, airlines will need to closely monitor market movements, and align future capacity increases with the actual increase in demand, whilst seeking further operating efficiencies to restore margins to more sustainable levels,” he concluded.