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Tue, 28 September 2021

Asia Pacific Airlines Carried Just 1.4 Million International Passengers in August 2021

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) traffic figures for August 2021 show that international air cargo markets remained resilient during the month, propelled by ongoing expansion in e-commerce and demand for intermediate goods.

On the other hand, severe weakness in international air travel persisted, as governments maintained strict border control measures amid the escalation in COVID19 cases across the region.

For the month of August, the 1.4 million international passengers carried by the regions airlines was just 4.0% of the 34 million registered in August 2019, underscoring the continued absence of a revival in demand, in stark contrast to the summer months prior to the onset of this global health crisis.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 reg: 9V-SYG in the foreground, with a Garuda aircraft taking off in the background. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

With available seat capacity averaging 13.7% of pre-pandemic levels, the international passenger load factor remained under pressure, averaging just 34.7% in August.

Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General said, Whilst the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant indicates there is no immediate end in sight to the global pandemic, the acceleration in domestic vaccination roll-outs in a number of Asian economies is a positive step towards the resumption of air travel, as seen in the progressive relaxation of border controls in some countries. Indeed, some governments in the region have begun to pave the way with the recent reopening of selected destinations to domestic and international arrivals.

Nevertheless, vaccination inequity remains a major stumbling block to the reopening of borders in the region, especially in places that have little to no access to vaccines. With travel and tourism as key contributors to many of the regions economies, the lack of progress on this front will continue to impact the many livelihoods that depend on these sectors.

Air Cargo

Supply congestion in major exporting ports such as in China increased demand for the transportation of merchandise by air, contributing to the 26.0% year-on-year growth in international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in August.

Despite the supportive demand conditions, limited bellyhold space resulting from the low number of passenger flights continued to constrain freight capacity, which saw a comparatively slower 17.8% year-on-year increase.

As a result, the average international freight load factor of 76.0% for the month was close to the historical high achieved in July.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: AAPA, RPKs, ASKs, FTKs, Traffic.

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