Airlines based in the Asia Pacific region experienced a 5.0% rise in international passenger traffic in October 2011. The figures, released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), show that demand for international services in the region remains high, with airlines catering to 16.45 million passengers last month compared to 15.66 million in the same month last year.
This rising demand is still not sufficient however, to match the airlines’ increased capacity. Last month Asia’s airlines added 8.8% more capacity compared to October 2010, causing average cabin load factors to drop 2.7 percentage points to 76.4%.
Year-to-date, Asian airlines have carried 158.17 million international passengers, up 3.7% year-on-year, with load factors averaging 76.9% – down 1.9 points.
“Asian carriers have continued to see growth in demand for both business and leisure travel, with an overall 3.7% increase in international passenger numbers for the first 10 months of the year,” noted the AAPA’s Director-General, Andrew Herdman.
“Asian airlines are continuing to benefit from relatively strong economic growth in developing economies across the region, but airline margins have been squeezed by sharply higher fuel prices this year. Despite these challenges, optimism about the long term outlook is reflected in ambitious fleet expansion plans, and innovative new business ventures,” he added.