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Asia Pacific Airlines Traffic Results from June 2011

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According to traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of June 2011 international passenger demand continued to grow while international air freight markets softened during the month.

Overall, airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried a total of 15.5 million international passengers in June, 4.4% more than the same month last year. International passenger traffic in revenue passenger kilometre terms (RPK) increased by 4.5%. However, available seat capacity grew by 6.7%, again outpacing passenger demand, resulting in a 1.6 percentage point decline in the average international passenger load factor to 77.5%.

International air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), was 6% lower in June compared to the same month last year, a reflection of the strong recovery in 2010, and some recent moderation in demand for Asian exports. Offered freight capacity fell by just 1.5%, leading to a 3.1 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 67.3%.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “During the first half of the year, Asia Pacific airlines carried 92 million international passengers, 3.1% up compared to the same period last year. However, capacity grew by 6.8%, resulting in a 2.3 percentage point fall in the average international passenger load factor, to 75.8%. At the same time, international air cargo demand during the first half of the year was relatively soft, declining by 3.2% compared to last year’s post-recession restocking surge. Overall, the combination of lower utilisation, and other cost pressures including very high oil prices, places further downward pressure on already thin airline operating margins.”

 “Despite these challenges, the outlook for the second half of the year still remains reasonably positive, given the normal seasonal pattern of stronger demand for both passengers and cargo. Amongst positive indicators, it is encouraging that Japan related traffic is starting to recover and, more broadly, consumer confidence across the Asia Pacific region remains robust. Demand for premium class seats also remains strong on many popular business routes. Nevertheless, some uncertainties remain about the strength of the global economic recovery, and unresolved macro-economic imbalances, evident in ongoing currency and oil price volatility,” Mr. Herman added.

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