Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of January 2019 show
robust growth in international air passenger demand. However,
international air cargo markets weakened further, with global new
export orders contracting on the back of slowing demand for
Overall, the region's airlines carried a
combined 32.2 million international passengers in January, 8.0%
more than the same month last year. Reflecting robust regional and
long haul travel demand, traffic as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) grew by 8.1%. Available seat capacity expanded by
5.9%, resulting in a 1.7 percentage point increase in the average
international passenger load factor to 82.1% for the month.
On the other hand, international air cargo
markets continued to soften, with demand in freight tonne
kilometre (FTK) terms falling by 3.8% year-on-year in January.
Concerns over slower growth in major economies and unresolved
trade tensions are affecting air cargo demand. Meanwhile, the
expansion in offered freight capacity continued to outpace demand
growth, with January's 2.8% increase in offered freight capacity
resulting in a 3.9 percentage point decline in the average
international freight load factor to 56.6% for the month.
AAPA Director General, said, "Against a backdrop of increasing
concerns about the global economy, the continued firm growth in
passenger traffic was a welcome start to the year for the region's
carriers, which also saw demand sustained by travel ahead of the
Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia. During the same period,
however, expected increases in air cargo shipments were absent, as
evidenced in the decline in air cargo volumes."
the travel demand outlook is broadly positive for the coming year.
Underlying global economic conditions remain relatively firm, with
major economies leaning towards more accommodative policies to
support demand. The region's airlines are closely monitoring
developments and potential changes in operating conditions, whilst
carefully managing costs with the aim of sustaining
profitability," added Mr. Herdman.