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Thu, 29 July 2021

Asia Pacific Airlines Carried Just 1.4 Million Int. Passengers in June

Preliminary traffic figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for June 2021 show that international passenger demand remained suppressed by ongoing tight border restrictions.

Across the Asia Pacific region, many countries recorded a surge in COVID19 transmissions caused mainly by the Delta variant, with limited vaccine supplies hampering vaccination progress.

The regions airlines carried only 1.4 million international passengers in June, just 4.4% of the 32 million carried in the corresponding month in 2019.

With available seat capacity at 12.9% of pre-pandemic levels, the average international passenger load factor of 31% recorded in June was a 51 percentage point drop from that of the corresponding month in 2019, underscoring the significant challenges faced by airlines in the passenger segment, which normally accounts for a significant portion of total airline revenue.

Thai AirAsia X Airbus A330-343 reg: HS-XTJ after departing from DMK in Bangkok on morning of 29 July 2021, destination unknown. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Meanwhile, air cargo markets remained resilient, supported by improved business confidence in the advanced economies, in particular, the United States and Europe.

Accordingly, international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) grew by 25.7% year-on-year, with volumes matching the same month in 2019.

Offered freight capacity saw an 11.7% year-on-year increase, leading to an 8.2 percentage point jump in the average international freight load factor to 73.3% for the month.

The already dire situation has recently been compounded by new COVID19 infections across the region due to the Delta variant, with ongoing border restrictions holding back any meaningful restart in international travel markets. Air cargo traffic growth, supported by strong demand for both intermediate and consumer goods from the major advanced economies, remains the saving grace, said Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General. Many Asian economies are facing renewed challenges in bringing the pandemic under control and in progressing vaccination roll-outs. Prospects for an early recovery for Asian airlines are dim unless cohesive action is taken by governments to accelerate vaccination roll-outs and reopen borders safely based on ICAO and WHO guidelines.

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

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