Modest Recovery in Air Traffic Demand

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Preliminary figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) provide further evidence of a modest recovery in air traffic demand. A total of 11.1 million international passengers were carried by AAPA member airlines in November, 4.5% more than in the same month last year. International passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, grew 3.5%. With available seat capacity having been cut by 3.1%, the average AAPA international passenger load factor for the month reached 76.3%, 4.9 percentage points up on the same month last year.

AAPA international air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometre terms (FTK), registered growth of 12% compared to the depressed levels of a year ago, and marking a continuation of the slow but steady recovery witnessed in 2009. The AAPA average international air cargo load factor was 8.2 percentage points higher at 71.1% for the month.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, After a difficult year, in which AAPA international passenger traffic has fallen 8%, and international air cargo traffic registered a 14% decline, the November traffic figures are mildly encouraging, in line with the broader economic recovery underway being led by the Asia Pacific region.

 In absolute terms, demand remains well below pre-recession levels. In addition, the aviation industry is still wrestling with the problem of low yields and continuing oil price volatility, so a recovery in airline profitability is still some way off. Overall, market conditions remain extremely challenging, Mr Herdman cautioned.

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