Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Preliminary traffic figures for the month of October released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed international air passenger markets continued to expand at an encouraging pace, whilst international air cargo volumes also remained firm, notwithstanding tensions around global trade policies.

The number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines climbed 6.0% higher to a combined total of 29.5 million for the month. Demand in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) terms increased by 6.2%, ahead of the 5.7% expansion in available seat capacity. As a result, the average international passenger load factor edged 0.4 percentage points higher to 78.9% in October.

Asian airlines saw international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) increase by 5.6% year-on-year in October, supported by increasing orders going into the year-end peak season. Offered freight capacity increased by 7.3%, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 65.5% for the month.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, "The global economy continued to expand moving into the fourth quarter, with further strengthening of global services activity but somewhat slower expansion in the global manufacturing sectors. Together with improvements in connectivity, these factors supported the continued growth in air traffic demand for Asian carriers."

"Overall, for the first ten months of the year, Asian airlines reported a healthy 7.2% increase in the number of international passengers carried to an aggregate total of 296 million. International air cargo traffic carried by Asian airlines recorded 4.8% growth during the the same period."

Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman said, "Prospects for further growth in air travel demand and air cargo markets remain positive. Geopolitical risks and uncertainty over unresolved trade tensions are a concern, but consumer confidence levels remain relatively robust. Overall, the region's carriers remain focused on strengthening financial performance through operational efficiency gains, whilst delivering high levels of customer service."