Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Preliminary traffic figures for the month of November released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed robust demand in both international air passenger and air cargo markets, reflecting the ongoing global economic upswing.
Boosted by strong business and leisure travel demand, the region's airlines carried a combined total of 25.9 million international passengers in November, 9.3% more than the same month last year. Demand in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) increased by 9.4% whilst available seat capacity expanded by 7.3%, leading to a 1.5 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 78.8% for the month.
Solid expansion in new business orders, underpinned by strong demand from advanced economies, helped support further growth in air cargo volumes for the region's airlines. As a result, demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) climbed 9.2% higher in November. Growth in demand significantly outpaced the 4.7% expansion in offered freight capacity, resulting in a 2.9 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 69.4% for the month.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "With business and leisure travel demand spurred by steady growth in the global economy, the first eleven months of the year saw a healthy 6.0% increase in the number of international passengers carried by Asian airlines to a combined total of 288 million. Within the same period, international air cargo demand increased by 10.0%, on the back of the firm pick-up in global trade activities."
Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman added, "2017 is expected to end on a positive note for both passenger and cargo traffic given current trends. With the global economy riding on positive business and consumer confidence levels amid continued expansion in order books, the demand outlook for Asian carriers remains positive. In the meantime, the region's airlines remain focused on effectively managing capacity in response to evolving patterns of market demand as well as improving operational efficiency."