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Thu, 29 April 2021

Asia Pacific Airlines Carried Just 1.1 Million Int. Passengers in March 2021

Preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) show that international passenger markets remained weak in March 2021.

Only 1.1 million international passengers flew on the regions carriers in March, equivalent to 13.2% of passenger volumes in the same month last year when travel was already in sharp decline.

Available seat capacity averaged 27% of the previous years volumes, as the majority of the regions commercial passenger fleets remained grounded. The international passenger load factor fell by 29.4 percentage points to average 23.8% for the month.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350-900 reg: 9M-MAC. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

In contrast to the travel and tourism sectors, overall rising business confidence and e-commerce growth fuelled air cargo demand, with congestion at shipping ports spurring a shift to the speedier transportation of goods by air.

As a result, international air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), grew by 16.1% year-on-year in the month of March, which has been the best performing month since December 2019.

Offered freight capacity rose by a comparatively slower 12.7% year-on-year, leading to a 2.2 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 74.3% for the month.

The recent commencement of travel between Australia and New Zealand is certainly a welcome step. In addition, quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Hong Kong, announced for end May, with talks of more travel bubbles in the pipeline, provide hope for a gradual restart of international air travel this year, said Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General. It is apparent that we will need to learn to live with COVID19. As such, it is imperative that governments across the world embrace harmonised risk-based measures that safely reopen air travel. This includes digitalisation of travel health certificates, as well as the implementation of contactless and seamless travel measures in accordance with ICAO and WHO guidelines, to support travel recovery. The association remains committed in working closely with governments to aid the resumption of air travel in a smart, safe and sustainable way.

See also: What is the IATA Travel Pass, and what does it mean for travellers, airlines and the global travel industry? Exclusive video interview with Vinoop Goel.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, AAPA, Traffic, FTK.

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