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
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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