Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of February show
further growth in both international air passenger and air cargo
markets, underpinned by positive business and consumer sentiment
across major advanced and emerging market economies.
The region's airlines carried a combined total
of 28.0 million international passengers in February 2018, a firm
7.7% increase compared to the same month last year, boosted by an
increase in leisure travellers during the Chinese New Year festive
period. As measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), demand
grew by 8.9%, on the back of growth in long-haul travel markets.
The average international passenger load factor edged 0.8
percentage points higher to 81.2% for the month, after accounting
for a 7.8% expansion in available seat capacity.
Buoyant demand in Asian economies, coupled with
further expansion in export activity contributed to further growth
in trade activity in the region. Correspondingly, the region's
carriers registered a 7.3% increase in air cargo volumes as
measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in February. Combined
with the 8.2% increase in offered freight capacity, the average
international freight load factor of 59.5% was 0.5 percentage
points lower than the same month last year.
Commenting on the results, Mr.
AAPA Director General, said, "During the first two months of the
year, Asian airlines carried a total of 57.5 million international
passengers, representing a 4.9% increase compared to the
corresponding period last year. Positive global economic
conditions, with firm business confidence levels helped boost
premium class markets, whilst continued availability of affordable
airfares encouraged growth in the economy class segment. Over the same period, robust manufacturing
activity boosted air cargo volumes, with Asian airlines
registering an encouraging 8.2% increase in air cargo demand
during the first two months of the year."
positive global economic momentum provides continued optimism for
further expansion in the aviation markets in the coming months.
Nevertheless, the recent rise in protectionist rhetoric poses some
risks to trade and business activity. Overall, Asian airlines
continue to exercise vigilance in identifying any further changes
in operating conditions, whilst seeking opportunities in growth
markets," Mr. Herdman added.
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