Asia Pacific Airlines Carried 32.5 Million
Passengers in July 2019; Cargo Declines Further
Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for July 2019 show that
international air passenger demand continued to grow moderately,
supported by business and leisure related travel. However, falling
exports and a worsening trade outlook led to further weakness in
air cargo markets.
The number of international passengers carried
by the region's airlines climbed 3.4% higher year-on-year to a
combined 32.5 million, even as business sentiment continued to
deteriorate in the face of rising headwinds to global growth.
Demand in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose by 2.7%
year-on-year, underscoring the relative strength of regional
travel markets. A matching 2.7% expansion in available seat
capacity led to an average international passenger load factor of
82.4% for the month, unchanged compared to the same month last
Mounting trade tensions, alongside deteriorating
business confidence levels contributed to further declines in
orders for goods. Against this backdrop, the region's airlines
registered a 7.7% fall in air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in July.
The markedly lower demand, coupled
with almost flat expansion in offered freight capacity, by 0.4%,
led to a 5.2 percentage point decline in the average international
freight load factor, to 58.9% for the month.
AAPA Director General, said, "During the first seven months of the
year, the number of international passengers carried by Asian
airlines grew by 4.6% to a combined 219 million supported by the
availability of competitive airfares and expanding networks. In
addition, sustained expansion in major Asian emerging and
developing economies fueled the appetite for international travel. By contrast, however, global trade conditions
deteriorated further, as higher tariffs disrupted global supply
chains, and Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand fall
by 6.2% during the first seven months of the year. The weakness in
air cargo markets is likely to extend into the coming months,
unless we see some meaningful progress in trade negotiations."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said, "The outlook
for air passenger travel demand is still broadly positive, but
with growth slowing, the region's airlines are facing an
increasingly challenging operating environment."