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AAPA January 2012 Traffic Results
Source: AAPA

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Preliminary traffic figures for the month of January released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed continued growth in international air passenger traffic demand, but air freight demand fell sharply during the month, as a result of the earlier timing of the Lunar New Year holidays this year.

In aggregate, Asia Pacific airlines carried 17.2 million international passengers in January, a 7.3% growth compared to the same month last year, boosted by an increase in travel during the Lunar New Year holiday season. In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, international passenger traffic grew by 6.3%. Available seat capacity was up by 6.7%, resulting in a slight 0.2 percentage point fall in the average international passenger load factor to 78.2%.

On the other hand, international air cargo demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), declined by 13.7% in January compared to the same month last year, reflecting the persistently weak trading environment and the closure of manufacturing plants due to the holidays. Even with a 5.3% reduction in offered freight capacity, the average international cargo load factor fell by 5.7 percentage points, to 59.6%.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “The continuing growth in passenger numbers marks an encouraging start to the year for Asian carriers. The slump in air cargo demand mainly reflects the earlier timing of the Lunar New Year holidays this year, but is nevertheless also a reminder of the still uncertain outlook for the global economy in the year ahead.”

Mr Herdman added, “With Europe sliding into recession, we expect this to be another challenging year for the industry, but remain guardedly optimistic given some tentative signs of recovery in the US and continuing positive momentum here in Asia.”

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