AAPA: August 2012 Traffic Results
Preliminary traffic figures for the month of August released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed a sustained increase in international air passenger traffic, in contrast to continued weakness in air freight markets.
Asia Pacific airlines carried an aggregate total of 18.5 million international passengers in August, a 6.8% increase compared to the same month last year, led by relatively strong demand for regional travel. International passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, grew more modestly, by 5.3%. Offered seat capacity expanded by 3.5%, resulting in a 1.4 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 80.3% for the month.
Air freight markets remain depressed, as a result of weakening consumer confidence in the major developed economies leading to a corresponding slowdown in exports from Asia. International air cargo demand, as expressed in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, was 4.4% lower in August compared to the same month last year. Combined with a 4.1% reduction in offered freight capacity, the average international air cargo load factor was almost unchanged, at 64.6%.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “The overall trend in international air travel demand remains encouraging, as reflected in the 7.9% increase in the number of passengers carried by Asia Pacific based airlines during the first eight months of this year. Whilst the overall pace of global economic activity is clearly slowing, Asian economies have so far remained relatively resilient with domestic demand still supporting business and leisure related travel.”
“However, we are still seeing persistent weakness in air cargo markets, with Asian carriers posting a 4.4% decline in international air cargo demand during the first eight months of the year, with no sign of any upturn.”
Mr. Herdman concluded, “Notwithstanding the evident slowdown in the global economy, oil prices remain high, averaging US$112 per barrel so far this year, further pressuring airline margins and industry profitability.”