Airlines in the Asia Pacific region are still under pressure, despite rising traffic and lower fuel costs, a senior industry official has warned.
Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), said that while the general trends in the industry are “positive”, the region’s carriers nevertheless continue to face a “challenging” operating environment.
“The demand environment remains positive in the coming months, with lower oil prices supporting global economic growth and availability of affordable airfares in both business and leisure travel markets,” Herdman said.
“The region’s airlines were operating at close to break even in 2014, despite recording solid growth in both passenger numbers and cargo volumes, as yields remained under competitive pressure.
“Notwithstanding the positive outlook for future growth in demand, Asian airlines are still facing highly competitive market conditions across all sectors of the industry. Airlines remain very focused on carefully managing costs, whilst optimising their route networks to better serve faster growing markets. For many airlines, restoring profitability is the key to sustaining continued investment for the future,” he added.
For the first quarter of 2015, airlines in the Asia Pacific region experienced a strong 9.4% increase in international traffic, to a total of 67.7 million passengers. This was substantially higher than the 4.9% growth achieved in the previous year.