Travel Industry News at TravelNewsAsia.com since 1997
Wed, 29 June 2022

Asia Pacific Airlines Report Robust Growth in Passenger Demand; Soft Cargo Markets

(29 June 2022, 10:41 +07)  The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has reported that international air passenger demand strengthened markedly in May 2022, amidst the lifting of travel restrictions around the region and further afield.

For the month, the number of international passengers carried by Asia Pacific airlines increased more than five-fold to a combined total of 7.3 million, with demand rising to 23.6% of volumes recorded in May 2019.

The jump in demand, combined with a relatively more moderate 114.8% expansion in available seat capacity, led to a significant 43.7 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 71.5% for the month, narrowing the gap to levels achieved before the pandemic brought international travel to a standstill.

Thai Airways aircraft lined up at BKK in August 2020. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Thai Airways aircraft lined up at BKK in August 2020. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

By contrast, prevailing supply chain disruptions and slowing demand further stymied global trade activity. This, in turn, led to a 5.6% year-on-year decline in international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) in May.

Offered freight capacity expanded by 1% year-on-year compared to the same month last year, with a consequent 4.8 percentage point decline in the international freight load factor to an average of 69.4% for the month.

The COVID19 pandemic has transformed the world in many ways. Yet, what hasnt changed is peoples desire to travel, as evidenced by the strong uplift in international travel upon the lifting of border control measures across the region, said Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General. On the other hand, after a buoyant 2021, air cargo demand is facing some headwinds with export orders facing downward pressures, driven by waning business confidence levels amid an increasingly cloudy global economic outlook.

As the regions airlines emerge from the deepest and most prolonged crisis ever faced, keeping a lid on costs remains vital, as escalating fuel expenditure, higher labour and maintenance costs, on top of substantially heavier debt burdens, threaten to undermine the already fragile financial recovery. In addition, airlines face increasing operational constraints as the air transport eco-system strives to keep up with the ramp-up in demand.

Nevertheless, the healthy increase in international passenger demand and corresponding recovery in load factors lends some cause for optimism, as the regions airlines continue to streamline operations while investing to improve the travel experience as part of ongoing efforts to achieve a sustainable and technology-enabled future for air transport.

Latest HD video interviewsAmari Watergate Bangkok - 4K Video Interview with Sukamal Mondal, Area GM, Bangkok Riverside Fest 2023 - 4K Video Interview with Frederic Kolde, Business Travel Trends in Asia Pacific - Video Interview with Brett Thorstad, Sabre.

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