Asia Pacific Airlines Recorded Passenger and Cargo Growth in 2015
Preliminary traffic figures for 2015 released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed growth in both international air passenger and air cargo markets.
For the year under review, the region’s airlines recorded a robust 7.9 percent increase in the number of international passengers carried to an aggregate total of 276.3 million, boosted by lower oil prices leading to the widespread availability of competitive airfares. The average international passenger load factor increased by 1.4 percentage points to 78.4 percent for the year, after accounting for an 8.2 percent increase in demand in revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) terms and a measured 6.3 percent expansion in available seat capacity.
International air cargo demand, measured in freight ton kilometers (FTK), registered a 1.6 percent increase for the year, reflecting the slowdown in global trade conditions. Offered freight capacity increased by 3.5 percent, leading to a deterioration in the average international freight load factor, by 1.3 percentage points to 63.7 percent for the year.
“Long haul travel markets prospered on the back of an improvement in economic conditions in selected advanced economies,” said Andrew Herdman, the AAPA director general. “In addition, Asian regional travel demand grew solidly, despite slowing economic growth and regional currency weakness. Less optimistically, air cargo markets saw only marginal growth for the year 2015, a reflection of the slowdown in global trade.”
“Asian airlines benefitted in 2015 from the robust growth in international passenger traffic, and significant fall in oil prices, according to Herdman, but competitive market conditions continued to restrain margins. “Airline profitability was also affected by currency volatility, and variations in individual fuel hedging policies, amongst other factors,” he added. “The outlook for air travel markets in 2016 remains broadly positive, although there are some significant risk factors to consider, including increased uncertainty over the regional economic outlook. Asian airlines are closely monitoring market developments, whilst continuing to invest in future growth opportunities.”
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