Preliminary traffic figures for the month of February released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed encouraging growth in international air passenger markets, supported by increased leisure travel demand during the Lunar New Year celebrations.
The number of international passengers carried by the region’s airlines climbed 4.4 per cent higher in February, on top of the strong growth recorded during the same month last year.
Demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) increased by 4.3 per cent year-on-year, which AAPA said indicated strength in both regional and long haul travel markets.
After accounting for a 4.7 per cent expansion in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor eased by 0.3 percentage points to 80.8 per cent for the month.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said: “Combined figures for the first two months of the year revealed a firm 6.3% increase in the number of international passengers carried by the region’s airlines to a combined total of 62 million.
“Passenger demand remained relatively steady, supported by competitive air fares and overall economic growth.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said: “Stimulatory fiscal policies implemented by selected economies are expected to encourage domestic spending. This should support reasonable growth in the global economy this year, sustaining continued growth in air travel markets.
“Overall, airlines remain proactive in responding to changes in demand conditions, and are exploring new avenues to boost revenue growth whilst managing costs in the face of challenging operating conditions.”