International air passenger traffic remained buoyant in May, according to preliminary traffic figures released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
The association also said that continued availability of affordable air fares and further expansion in business activity supporting growth in demand.
The region’s carriers registered a firm 8.7 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of international passengers carried to a combined total of 28.8 million in May, reflecting robust regional travel markets, whilst demand as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) climbed 7.8 per cent higher.
Available seat capacity grew by seven per cent, resulting in a 0.5 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 78.1 per cent for the month.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said: “Global economic expansion remained relatively solid, marked by a pick-up in business activity in major advanced economies, particularly the United States, and sustained growth in the leading Asian economies.”
“The supportive economic conditions, along with the ongoing increase in network connections and availability of affordable air fares led to an encouraging 7.5 per cent growth in the number of passengers carried by the region’s carriers during the first five months of the year, to an aggregate total of 146 million.”
Looking ahead, Herdman said: “Whilst the increase in new orders across the region is still quite encouraging, the recent escalation in protectionist rhetoric could potentially undermine confidence and destabilize global trade flows.
“In addition, the operating environment for airlines is increasingly challenging due to the impact of higher fuel costs. Accordingly, the region’s carriers continue to seek avenues to increase operational efficiencies in a bid to boost profitability.”