Asia Pacific’s flag carriers reported a slight increase in international passenger demand, but weaker international air freight traffic in Apr-2011, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). Preliminary data showed its members transported 15.0 million international passengers in Apr-2011, up 1.6% year-on-year.
AAPA passenger numbers growth and passenger load factor: Apr-2009 to Apr-2011
AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said the April figures “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.”
Mr Herdman added: “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.” He said the global economic outlook still remains broadly positive, but warned that demand is falling short of planned capacity growth, and sharply higher fuel costs are “applying further pressure on already thin margins, reiterating the need to strictly control costs throughout the business”.
International revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 4.5%, reflecting “relatively strong demand on long-haul international routes”, according to AAPA.
AAPA RPK growth and ASK growth: Apr-2010 to Apr-2011
The average international passenger load factor for the month was 2.1 ppts lower however, at 75.0%, as an aggressive 7.4% expansion in available seat capacity (ASKs) outpaced the growth in demand. It was the fifth consecutive month of load factor declines.
AAPA PLF growth: Apr-2010 to Apr-2011
Air cargo weak
Air cargo traffic demand fell slightly, with international freight tonne kilometres (FTK) 2.0% lower compared with 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 ppts to 68.5%.
AAPA FTK growth and FATK growth: Apr-2010 to Apr-2011