Preliminary traffic figures from the Association
of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of November show
international air passenger markets recorded a further increase in
demand, stimulated by the availability of affordable airfares and
improvements to connectivity.
Demand for air cargo remained subdued in line with
weak international trade flows.
In aggregate, the region's airlines flew 30.3
million international passengers in November 2019, a 3.4% increase
compared to the same month last year. The moderate growth reflects
the general slowdown in global economic activity. The
international passenger load factor averaged 80.1% for the month,
after accounting for a 3.6% increase in demand as measured in
revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) and a 2.6% growth in available
During the same month, international air cargo
demand in freight tonne kilometre terms (FTK) fell by 1.9%
year-on-year, as declines in new export orders affected
international trade activity. Offered freight capacity increased
by 1.2% year-on-year, resulting in a 2.0 percentage point decline
in the average international freight load factor to 62.9% for the
AAPA Director General, said, "Asian airlines carried a combined
342 million international passengers during the first eleven
months of the year, achieving 4.2% growth despite falling business
confidence levels and corresponding moderation in economic
activity across regions. Tourism activity continued to lend
support to leisure travel, with growth within the region boosted
by the availability of affordable air fares.
"However, air cargo volumes for the first eleven
months of 2019 registered a 5.3% decline compared to the same
period in the previous year, as challenging business conditions
resulting from protracted trade disputes dampened demand. Asian
airlines were particularly vulnerable, given the region's
importance in the global manufacturing supply chain. The outlook
for air cargo demand remains overshadowed by uncertainty over the
resolution of ongoing global trade disputes."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said, "The outlook for
air passenger markets is still reasonably positive, with
expectations of continued moderate expansion in the global
economy. Meanwhile, the region's carriers remain vigilant in
monitoring and responding to changes in market conditions, whilst
seeking new growth opportunities."