APAC carriers’ passenger figures up in early 2018

THE number of international passengers that Asia-Pacific airlines carried in April and in the first four months of 2018 increased by 9.3 percent to 29.8 million and by 7.3 percent to 118 million, respectively, from last year’s figures, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reported.

In a recent statement, the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-headquartered organization attributed the growth to strengthened business activities across advanced and emerging economies.

It noted that affordable airfares continued to be available, driven by promotional campaigns that supported growth in leisure travel markets.

“The global economy is still on solid footing, with growth in most sectors, including technology and consumer goods,” AAPA Director General Andrew Herdman said in the statement.

“Accordingly, business and consumer sentiment remained relatively positive, underpinning further growth in passenger travel and air cargo demand,” he added.

Global and regional growth are reinforcing the positive market outlook for the rest of the year, according to the official.

“However, operating conditions remain challenging, with airlines still facing intense competition and the pressure of sharply higher fuel costs, up more than 30 percent compared to last year,” Herdman said.

“The region’s carriers continue to explore avenues for further growth, [while]implementing pro-active measures to control costs and achieve further operational efficiencies,” he added.

AAPA is the trade association for scheduled international airlines based in the region. Its members are Air Astana, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Eva Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

According to the association’s website, these airlines carry 1,341 million passengers, representing one-third of global passenger traffic.

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