Airlines in the Asia Pacific carried 4.4% more passengers on international routes in June 2011 compared to the same month last year, according to the preliminary traffic figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
Overall, airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried a total of 15.5 million international passengers last month, compared to 14.9 million in June 2010. International passenger traffic, in terms of in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), increased 4.5%. Available seat capacity outpaced demand however, growing 6.7%, resulting in a 1.6 percentage point decline in international passenger load factors, which averaged 77.5%.
During the first half of the year, Asia Pacific airlines carried 92 million international passengers, 3.1% more than the same period last year. Capacity grew by 6.8% however, resulting in a 2.3 percentage point fall in the average international passenger load factor, to 75.8%.
Commenting on the results, AAPA’s Director General, Andrew Herdman said; “Overall, the combination of lower utilisation, and other cost pressures including very high oil prices, places further downward pressure on already thin airline operating margins.
“Despite these challenges, the outlook for the second half of the year still remains reasonably positive, given the normal seasonal pattern of stronger demand for both passengers and cargo. Amongst positive indicators, it is encouraging that Japan related traffic is starting to recover and, more broadly, consumer confidence across the Asia Pacific region remains robust. Demand for premium class seats also remains strong on many popular business routes. Nevertheless, some uncertainties remain about the strength of the global economic recovery, and unresolved macro-economic imbalances, evident in ongoing currency and oil price volatility.”