Asia-Pacific airlines enjoy strong recovery

Asia-Pacific airlines enjoy strong recovery

Kuala Lumpur: Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are enjoying a strong recovery from the economic downturn, with sharp gains in passenger numbers and freight traffic in June, an industry group said Thursday.

The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said that regional airlines carried 15.1 million international passengers in June, a 25.2% increase compared to the same month a year ago.

International air cargo demand was also strong, with Asian carriers reporting a 30.4% growth in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) year-on-year.

“Asia Pacific-based airlines have seen a solid recovery in leisure and business travel, as well as robust air cargo demand, with overall traffic back to pre-recession levels," said AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.

Herdman said the outlook for the months ahead “remains broadly positive", with the International Monetary Fund projecting a global economic growth rate of 4.6% for 2010, and 9.2% for the Asian region.

“Airlines are well positioned to meet the expected growth in demand, through a combination of new aircraft deliveries and further improvements in fleet utilisation," he said.

The AAPA said that over the first half of 2010, Asia-Pacific carriers carried 89 million international passengers, 14.9% up on the same period a year ago.

International air cargo demand jumped by 34.8% over the six months, “marking a dramatic recovery from the steep declines in international trade we experienced in the same period last year."