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Positive outcome for the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines in Year 2012

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines confirm the good performance of its members in 2012 with a growth of 7% of its international passengers and a load factor up by 1.5 percentage point.

KUALA LUMPUR – Preliminary figures for the full calendar year 2012 released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) confirmed solid growth in international air passenger demand, but weaker market conditions for international air cargo.

Asia Pacific airlines carried a total of 207 million international passengers, 7.0% more than in the previous year, underpinned by an improvement in business markets and sustained leisure travel demand. International passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, increased by 5.8%, indicating the relative strength of demand on regional short haul routes.

Capacity growth for the year was a relatively conservative 3.9%, resulting in a 1.5 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor, to 77.9%.

International air cargo demand, expressed in freight tonne kilometre (FTK) terms, declined by 3.4% in 2012 as a result of continued weakness in global trading conditions.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Andrew Herdman, AAPA Director General said, “Overall, Asian airlines experienced a year of further encouraging growth in international passenger traffic in 2012, bolstered by healthy demand for regional travel. On the other hand, air cargo demand remained depressed for most of the year, only showing some signs of stabilising towards year end.”

Looking ahead, Mr. Herdman concluded, “The global economic recovery is continuing, led by sustained growth in Asia and other developing markets, but consumer confidence in developed Western markets remains quite fragile. Nevertheless, the outlook for further growth in passenger travel remains positive, and hopefully in the new year we could also see some signs of a long overdue recovery in the air cargo market.”

The AAPA is the trade association for scheduled international airlines based in the Asia-Pacific region. Collectively, the region’s airlines carry 650 million passengers and 18 million tonnes of cargo, representing one-quarter of global passenger traffic and two-fifths of global air cargo traffic respectively.
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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.