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AAPA reports strong growth in Asia-Pacific air travel

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AAPA data shows a significant rise in passenger and cargo traffic for Asian airlines in April 2024.

Kuala Lumpur – Preliminary April 2024 traffic figures released by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) underscored strong demand for international passenger air travel, with both business and leisure markets continuing to enjoy robust growth.

Overall, a combined total of 28.0 million international passengers flew with the region’s carriers in April, representing a 32.0% increase compared to the same month last year. Traffic averaged 87.3% of 2019 volumes. Demand in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose by 33.7% year-on-year, showing growth notably on longer haul routes. Available seat capacity grew by 30.4%, leading to a 2.1 percentage point increase in the average international passenger load factor to 81.6%.

Higher demand for consumer and intermediate goods, contributed to the ongoing positive momentum in air cargo markets. For the region’s carriers, international air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), recorded a 13.7% year-on-year growth in April, while offered freight capacity expanded by 14.4%, leading to a marginal 0.4 percentage point decline in the average international freight load factor to 59.9%.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General said, “Improving economic sentiment, coupled with high demand on major routes connecting Asia and other regions, including Europe and Southwest Pacific, drove growth in long haul travel markets, while travel demand within the region remained buoyant, underpinned by the easing of visa policies and resilient expansion in the region’s economies. Overall, the number of international passengers carried rose by 51% to a total of 117 million for the first four months of the year.”

Mr. Menon added, “During the same period, Asia Pacific airlines also posted an encouraging 15% year-on-year increase in air cargo traffic volumes, with the pick-up in global demand supporting export activity from major manufacturing hubs located in the region, in particular, China.

Looking ahead, Mr. Menon said, “Positive business and consumer confidence levels are likely to support continued growth in air passenger and cargo markets in the coming months. Nevertheless, supply chain constraints and higher operating costs remain a concern, while geopolitical tensions continue to cloud the outlook of the industry. Against this background, the region’s carriers remain focused on improving operational efficiency and growing sustainably, while upkeeping safety standards.”

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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