International air traffic on Asia Pacific airlines surged in August 2013.
According to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the region’s passenger traffic climbed 8.6% during the month, ahead of a 6.3% expansion of seat capacity. This allowed passenger load factors to climb 1.7 percentage points to 81.6%.
And the strength of the Asia Pacific market contributed to a 6.8% rise in global air traffic in August, with load factors rising to match the record monthly high of 83.4%, set in June 2011.
“August was a positive month for passenger travel,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general & CEO. “The solid performance was also supported by a stabilisation of emerging market weakness and renewed confidence in Europe and North America. Trading conditions are still tough with high oil prices, stiff competition and regulatory hurdles. But demand growth remains a bright spot with most indications pointing towards an acceleration in the fourth quarter,” he added.
And while demand for flights was high across the world in August, the strongest monthly traffic growth was actually seen in the Middle East, where demand jumped 15.1% year-on-year and load factors reached 82.0%. IATA noted however, that this was largely due to the timing of Ramadan.
European carriers saw a 5.4% rise in international traffic and strong 86.4% load factors, while on North American airlines traffic rose 5.1% and load factors reached 88.1% – the highest of any region. Latin American demand rose 9.8% while in Africa international traffic climbed 5.4%.
Among the world’s biggest domestic air markets, Chinese traffic jumped 13.7%, while Japan enjoyed another month of strong growth with traffic up 8.8%. Indian domestic traffic also surged 15.7%, but in the US traffic increased just 1.2%. Australian domestic traffic rose 4.7% in August.