Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Preliminary traffic figures for the month of June released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed strong growth in international air passenger demand, underpinned by robust expansion in the services sectors. International air cargo demand saw further growth, but at a more moderate pace, in line with underlying trade conditions.
In aggregate, the region's airlines carried 29.5 million international passengers in June, a solid 10.7% increase compared to the same month last year. Demand in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms increased by 9.6%, underscoring the relative strength of regional travel markets. The average international passenger load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points higher to 81.6% for the month, after accounting for a 7.0% expansion in available seat capacity.
The global manufacturing sector, whilst still expanding, experienced slower growth in June. Against this backdrop, Asia Pacific carriers recorded a 3.4% year-on-year increase in air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) for the month. The average international freight load factor declined by 1.9 percentage points to 64.5% in June, on the back of a 6.4% expansion in offered freight capacity.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "Asian airlines continued to benefit from sustained regional and wider economic growth, as well as improvements to connectivity within and across regions. Overall, the first half of the year saw the region's airlines register a solid 8% increase in the total number of international passengers carried to 176 million."
"Within the same period, international air cargo demand registered an encouraging 5% increase, bolstered by further expansion in the manufacturing sectors, although growth in new export orders has slowed in recent months."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said, "Global economic prospects remain positive, anchored on expectations of firm domestic demand across regions, despite some concern over the possible adverse effects of trade tariffs. Airfares are edging higher reflecting the impact of higher fuel prices this year, but demand conditions remain relatively favourable. Overall, Asian carriers continue to explore new avenues to optimise revenue growth, in order to maintain margins."