The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) stated preliminary figures for Nov-2009 show “further evidence of a modest recovery in air traffic demand”, although it cautioned a recovery in airline profitability is “still some way off” and market conditions “remain extremely challenging”. AAPA member airlines carried 11.1 million international passengers last month, a 4.5% year-on-year increase.
AAPA Director General, Andrew Herdman, stated, “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.”
But Mr Herdman added, “in absolute terms, demand remains well below pre-recession levels” and the aviation industry is “still wrestling with the problem of low yields and continuing oil price volatility”.
AAPA passenger load factor (%) and pax growth: Nov-2008 to Nov-2009
International passenger traffic, measured in RPKs rose 3.5%, while capacity (ASKs) fell 3.1%, leading to a 4.9 ppts gain in passenger load factor to 76.3%.
AAPA RPK growth and ASK growth: Nov-2008 to Nov-2009
Cargo sector seeing slow and steady recovery
AAPA international air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometre terms (FTK), registered growth of 12.0% compared to the depressed levels of a year ago. According to the industry body, “this marks a continuation of the slow but steady recovery witnessed in 2009”. The AAPA average international air cargo load factor was 8.2 ppts higher at 71.1% for the month.
AAPA FTK growth and FATK growth: Nov -2008 to Nov-2009