Asia-Pacific saw robust growth in international air passenger demand in January, according to figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
Overall, the region’s airlines carried a combined 32.2 million international passengers in January, eight per cent more than the same month last year.
Reflecting robust regional and long haul travel demand, traffic as measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) grew by 8.1 per cent. Available seat capacity expanded by 5.9 per cent, resulting in a 1.7 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 82.1 per cent for the month.
AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman said, “Against a backdrop of increasing concerns about the global economy, the continued firm growth in passenger traffic was a welcome start to the year for the region’s carriers, which also saw demand sustained by travel ahead of the Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia. During the same period, however, expected increases in air cargo shipments were absent, as evidenced in the decline in air cargo volumes.”
Looking ahead, Herdman added: “Overall, the travel demand outlook is broadly positive for the coming year. Underlying global economic conditions remain relatively firm, with major economies leaning towards more accommodative policies to support demand.
“The region’s airlines are closely monitoring developments and potential changes in operating conditions, whilst carefully managing costs with the aim of sustaining profitability.”