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Asia Pacific Airlines Traffic Results for April 2011

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 27 May 2011

Preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for the month of April 2011 show a slight increase in international passenger demand, whilst international air freight markets recorded small declines, reflecting a trend of moderating growth and the lingering effects of the Japanese earthquake.

Asia Pacific airlines carried a total of 15 million international passengers in April, 1.6% more than in the same month last year. International passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) grew by 4.5%, reflecting relatively strong demand on long haul international routes. The average international passenger load factor for the month was 2.1 percentage points lower, at 75%, as a 7.4% expansion in available seat capacity outpaced the growth in demand.

Air cargo traffic demand fell slightly, with international freight tonne kilometres (FTK) 2% lower compared to levels seen in the same month last year. Coupled with a 2.1% increase in available freight capacity, the average international freight load factor for the month declined by 2.9 percentage points to 68.5%.

Air passenger numbers for the month of April held up pretty well, despite the sharp falls in demand seen on Japanese routes, which normally account for about a fifth of traffic in the Asia Pacific region. Growth in passenger traffic for the month was underpinned by stronger demand on long-haul international routes. On the other hand, air cargo demand was relatively soft in April, falling by 2% in FTK terms, said Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General. During the first four months of the year, the number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific based airlines grew by 3% compared to the corresponding period in 2010, whilst international freight traffic matched last years levels. Growth rates so far this year have been modest, and are likely to remain subdued in the second quarter as a result of the after-effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but will hopefully pick up again in the second half of the year.

 Despite recent events, the global economic outlook still remains broadly positive. However, with demand currently falling short of planned capacity growth, and sharply higher fuel costs as a result of persistently high oil prices, airlines are facing further pressure on already thin margins, reiterating the need to strictly control costs throughout the business, Mr Herdman concluded.

See recent travel news from: Travel News Asia, AAPA, April 2011

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