Asia-Pacific airlines carried 23.5 million passengers on international scheduled services in September, up 7% year-over-year (YOY), according the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
International passenger demand grew 7.6% YOY to 87.4 billion RPKs, “faster than the 6.7% YOY expansion in available seat capacity,” AAPA said, but an 8.4% drop from August. Capacity on international routes reached 112.2 billion ASKs in September. Continued growth in both long haul and regional markets spurred demand in the region, AAPA said.
The passenger load factor for the region in September was 77.9%, up 0.6 point YOY.
Asian airlines’ September international air cargo traffic increased 5.3% YOY to 5.6 billion FTKs, a 3.7% rise in FTKs from August.
“Air cargo volumes … reflect the modest upswing in demand in recent months, bolstered by higher shipments of electronics designated for product launches,” AAPA DG Andrew Herdman said.
Year-to-date (YTD), the number of international passengers in the Asia-Pacific region has risen 6.5% YOY to 219.8 million passengers. Passenger demand for the first nine months of 2016 has grown 7% YOY to 798.9 billion RPKs; capacity YTD is up 6.9% YOY to 1billion ASKs. The international passenger load factor for the region YTD is 78.8%, up 0.1 point YOY.
“While air passenger numbers continue to demonstrate resilience, Asian carriers face challenges in the form of intense competition and cost pressures,” Herdman said, citing rising crude oil prices. “[And] the lack of impetus for a revival in global trade activity may present some headwinds to sustained growth in air cargo markets.”
AAPA’s member airlines include Air Astana; All Nippon Airways; Asiana Airlines; Bangkok Airways; Cathay Pacific Airways; China Airlines; Dragonair; EVA Airways; Garuda Indonesia; Japan Airlines; Korean Air; Malaysia Airlines; Philippine Airlines; Royal Brunei Airlines; Singapore Airlines; and Thai Airways International.