Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of June 2019 show
that international air passenger demand continued to grow at a
moderate pace, driven by widespread availability of affordable air
fares and resilient growth in regional economies.
On the other hand, air cargo markets weakened further with
the global fall in new export orders.
The region's airlines registered a 4.0%
year-on-year increase in the number of international passengers
carried to an aggregate total of 31 million for the month,
exhibiting resilience in growth despite the global decline in
business and consumer confidence levels. As measured in revenue
passenger kilometres (RPK), demand grew by 3.4% year-on-year,
reflecting strength in regional travel markets. Combined with the
3.1% expansion in available seat capacity, the average
international passenger load factor edged 0.3 percentage points
higher to 81.7% for the month.
Air cargo markets
continued to deteriorate, with lackluster business sentiment
feeding into lower demand for air shipments. As a result, the
region's airlines recorded a 7.2% year-on-year fall in air cargo
demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in June,
marking the eighth consecutive month of declining volumes. The
average international freight load factor fell significantly, by
5.1 percentage points to 58.8% for the month, after accounting for
a 1.0% increase in offered freight capacity.
Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General, said,
"The first half of the year saw the number of international
passengers carried by Asian airlines grow by an encouraging 4.7%,
to a combined total of 186 million, supported by strong leisure
demand, which continued to outpace the global rate of economic
expansion. However, during the same period, Asian
airlines recorded a 6.2% decline in air cargo demand, reflecting
prevailing weakness in international trade flows across regions,
as widening trade disputes and higher tariffs continued to disrupt
global supply chains."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said,
"In the months ahead, the outlook for the region's travel markets
is broadly positive, with continued expansion in air passenger
demand. On the other hand, with moderating global business
optimism levels and the absence of significant progress in trade
negotiations, air cargo demand is expected to remain weak.
Overall, the region's airlines will closely monitor changes to
operating conditions, whilst managing business operations with the
aim of sustaining profitability."