Preliminary traffic figures for the month of June released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed continued expansion of both international passenger and air freight markets.
Asia Pacific airlines carried a combined total of 20.6 million international passengers in June, 2.1% more than the same month last year. Compared to previous months, traffic growth in June was relatively slower, with leisure travel markets partly affected by the on-going political situation in Thailand. Measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), demand grew by 2.5%, whilst available seat capacity increased by 5.3%, resulting in a 2.1 percentage point fall in the average international passenger load factor to 77.7% for the month.
For the region's carriers, demand for air freighted goods continued to grow in the month of June, helped by positive consumer and business sentiment in major developed economies. Overall, air freight demand in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms grew by an encouraging 4.7% compared to the same month last year. The average international freight load factor rose for the second consecutive month, by 0.8 percentage points to 66.1% in June, on a 3.4% growth in offered freight capacity.
Commenting on the results, Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "The first six months of this year saw a 4.9% increase in the number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines to an aggregate total of 123.5 million. Within the same period, air freight demand grew by 4.6%, underpinned by a long awaited pick-up in global trade activities."
Herdman added, "The overall traffic demand environment in the region is still expected to be positive, supported by continued growth in regional economies and further improvement in the US and European economies. However, competitive pressures remain intense, forcing Asian airlines to keep a close watch on costs while carefully managing capacity."