Southeast Asia aviation outlook: passenger growth accelerates, led by Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia

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Southeast Asia's aviation market recorded healthy growth in 2016, with passenger traffic expanding faster than the global average across nearly every country in the region. Six of Southeast Asia's 10 countries had growth in or near the double digits, led by Vietnam and Myanmar. Seven countries had growth equal to, or higher than, in 2015.

Southeast Asia should continue to experience rapid growth in 2017 and beyond. Vietnam and Myanmar will likely again lead the pack in 2017, joined by Malaysia. The Philippines should experience growth of approximately 10% for the third consecutive year, also putting it towards the top of the pack.

However, overcapacity remains a long term concern, pressuring yields and profitability. The average profit margin of the Southeast Asian airline sector significantly lagged the global average in 2016, and this trend will likely continue in 2017.

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