KUALA LUMPUR, 1 December 2023: Preliminary October 2023 traffic figures released today by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) showed strong growth in international passenger demand, in tandem with the ongoing recovery in traffic performance across major routes in the region and the rest of the world.
A combined 25.3 million international passengers flew on the region’s carriers in October, 102.8% more than the 12.5 million recorded in the same month last year. Demand averaged 80.5% of the corresponding month in 2019. In revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) terms, demand climbed 85.6% higher, reflecting the relative strength of short-haul markets. After accounting for a 77.9% expansion in available seat capacity, the average international passenger load factor rose by 3.4 percentage points to reach 80.4% for the month, slightly above pre-pandemic levels.
Despite some moderation in trade activity, October saw Asia Pacific airlines post a 3.2% increase in international air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) compared to the depressed volumes recorded in the same month last year.
Commenting on the results, AAPA director general Subhas Menon said: “Asia Pacific carriers continued to enjoy robust growth in business and leisure travel markets going into the fourth quarter, reflecting healthy travel appetite supported by resilient growth of the region’s economies. For the first ten months of the year, Asian airlines reported a solid 197.3% increase in the number of international passengers carried to an aggregate total of 225 million.”
Looking ahead, Menon concluded: “Prospects for further growth in air travel demand remain positive in the coming months. As for air cargo markets, the recent uptick in demand is welcome, although the outlook remains uncertain against continued declines in export orders. Overall, the region’s carriers remain focused on improving financial performance following three years of steep pandemic-led losses, delivering the highest customer service levels.”