Asia Pacific Airlines Carried 29.8 Million
Int. Passengers in April 2018
Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of April 2018 show
growth in international air passenger and air cargo demand
progressed at an encouraging pace, driven by further expansions in
global service and manufacturing sectors.
A combined total of 29.8 million international
passengers were carried by the region's airlines in April,
representing a robust 9.3% increase compared to the same month
Business activity strengthened across major advanced
and emerging market economies during the month, with positive
confidence levels boosting growth in business travel demand. At
the same time, continued availability of affordable airfares
driven by promotional campaigns supported growth in leisure travel
Overall, demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) increased by 8.3% year-on-year, ahead of the 7.2%
expansion in available seat capacity. As a result, the average
international passenger load factor edged 0.8 percentage points
higher to 81.5% for the month.
Whilst there are signs that international trade
flows may be easing, international air cargo demand for the
region's carriers, in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) terms, saw an
encouraging 5.8% year-on-year increase in April.
client demand within the region, on the back of stronger domestic
conditions, aided growth in air cargo markets. After accounting
for a 6.6% expansion in offered freight capacity, the average
international freight load factor was 0.5 percentage points lower
at 64.1% for the month.
Commenting on the results, Mr.
AAPA Director General said, "Overall, during the first four months of the
year, Asia Pacific airlines carried an aggregate total of 118
million international passengers, a solid 7.3% increase compared
to the same period last year. Correspondingly, air cargo demand
registered an encouraging 5.7% growth during the same period, on
top of the strong 9.6% annual increase recorded in 2017."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said, "Sustained
growth in the region and the wider global economic expansion lends
credence to a positive market outlook for the remainder of the
year. However, operating conditions remain challenging, with
airlines still facing intense competition and the pressure of
sharply higher fuel costs, up more than 30% compared to last year.
The region's carriers continue to explore avenues for further
growth, whilst implementing pro-active measures to control costs
and achieve further operational efficiencies."