Asian aviation briefs
All Nippon Airways (ANA) managed to achieve double-digit growth in terms of international passenger traffic in the full-tear 2011-12, despite the upheaval caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The airline carried 5.88 million passengers on international routes in the 12 months to 31 March 2012 – 22.2% up year-on-year. The airline also added 14.6% more available seats compared to the previous 12 months, and average cabin load factors stood at 74.4%.
ANA’s domestic traffic however, remained subdued. Last year’s natural disasters had a major impact on Japanese domestic travel, and ANA’s passenger traffic on routes within Japan fell 4.1% year-on-year to 36.68 million. Domestic load factors struggled, averaging just 60.8%.
Scoot, the new Singapore-based low-cost airline, is asking the public to think up names for its first two aircraft.
The airline will introduce two Boeing 777-200s to its fleet next month, and Scoot is now offering a pair of tickets to the people who come up with the names to adorn the aircraft.
“It’s important to Team Scoot that the community has an opportunity to have a hand in the airline’s creation. And what better – and rarer – opportunity than to name an aircraft that will… be seen by people around the world?” said Campbell Wilson, Scoot’s CEO.
The B777s will operate for the first time to Sydney from 4 June, the Gold Coast from 12 June, and Bangkok from 5 July.
Peach HK flights go on sale
Peach Aviation’s new international route to Hong Kong goes on sale today. The new Japanese low-cost carrier will commence flights between Osaka’s Kansai International Airport and Hong Kong on 1 July. The route, which will be operated daily, becomes Peach’s second international route following Osaka-Seoul. A third, Osaka-Taipei, will follow in September.
Lufthansa’s Asian traffic climbs
The Lufthansa Group saw a 3.7% rise in passenger traffic on routes to and from Asia Pacific in April 2012. The group, which comprises Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and SWISS, carried 483,000 passengers to and from Asia Pacific last month, while cabin load factors climbed 3.3 percentage points to 79.1%.
Globally, Lufthansa carried 8.7 million passengers in April, up 3.8% year-on-year, with load factors of 78.5%.
American Airlines saw a major 18.9% rise in passenger traffic on its trans-Pacific routes in April 2012. The result made Asia Pacific easily the airline’s fastest-growing region, following a marginal 1.1% rise in traffic on Latin American routes. The airline’s domestic and trans-Atlantic demand dropped 2.2% and 2.7% respectively.
The Pacific region’s traffic growth far outstripped the 6.1% increase in available seat capacity, allowing average cabin load factors to jump 8.5 percentage points to 79.2%.
The strong result for American follows trans-Pacific growth for other US airlines in April, including United-Continental and Delta.
Skyscanner launches in Talagog
Travel search site Skyscanner has launched a new Talagog language service for users in the Philippines. The new offering will display users’ search results in Talagog, making it one of the few sites in the country which is available in both English and the native Filipino language. Skyscanner said the development followed a 310% jump in Philippine site traffic since September 2011. Tagalog now joins 29 other languages available on Skyscanner including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Bahasa Indonesian and Bahasa Malay.
Air France-KLM has reported high average cabin load factors in routes to and from the Asia Pacific region. Last month, the airlines’ Asian flights were on average 85.3% full – up from 81.4% in the same month last year. While Air France-KLM added 2.6% more seats on its Asian routes last month, compared to April 2011, passenger demand grew strongly, rising 7.5% year-on-year.
Last month, Air France inaugurated its new route to the Chinese city of Wuhan and deployed its Airbus A380 to Singapore for the first time.
Finnair’s Asian traffic rises
Finnair has reported double-digit growth in its passenger traffic on Asian routes in April 2012. The airline carried 118,300 passengers on routes to and from Asia last month – 10.7% more than the same month last year. Available seat capacity increased 5.2%, allowing average cabin load factors to climb 5.6 percentage points to 75.4%.
Globally Finnair carried 720,300 passengers in April, up 10.0% year-on-year, with load factors averaging 66.0%.
AirAsia X achieved a 7.5% increase in passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2012. The long-haul low-cost airline carried 690,000 passengers in the three-month period, while load factors surged to a strong 87% – a record quarterly performance for the carrier.