The November 2023 Traffic Results published by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reveal a strong growth in passenger traffic and an increasing demand for cargo.
According to the preliminary November 2023 traffic figures released by the AAPA, international passenger markets experienced solid expansion, driven by a robust travel demand boosted by the ongoing recovery in tourism activity across the region.
In November, Asia Pacific airlines carried 25.1 million international passengers, marking a significant 76.9% increase compared to the same period in 2022. This represents 80.9% of the levels observed in November 2019. The revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) also saw a substantial growth of 66.9% year-on-year, surpassing the 61.3% expansion in available seat capacity. This resulted in an average international passenger load factor of 79.6% for the month, reflecting a 2.7 percentage point increase.
Simultaneously, the air cargo markets experienced an upturn in growth after a prolonged period of subdued demand. The increasing demand for consumer goods, driven by the upcoming year-end festive period, led to an 8.4% year-on-year growth in international air cargo demand measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) in November. However, the international freight load factor slightly decreased to an average of 62.0% for the month despite an 11.0% year-on-year expansion in offered freight capacity.
Comments from AAPA Director General
Commenting on the results, Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General, said, “During the first eleven months of 2023, Asia Pacific airlines carried a combined total of 250 million international passengers, reflecting pent-up demand in the post-pandemic recovery period, up by 178% on the corresponding period in the previous year.”
Turning to the air cargo markets, Mr. Subhas Menon added, “Subdued economic conditions have resulted in a 4.2% overall decline in air cargo demand for the first eleven months of 2023, despite some growth in volumes since September.”
Looking ahead, Mr. Menon noted, “Despite a slowdown in global economic activity and increase in geopolitical tensions, Asia Pacific carriers saw healthy growth in international passenger demand throughout the year, in tandem with the restoration of flight frequencies and connectivity. Air cargo markets have picked up, but uncertainties remain, with new export orders still in decline. Overall, the outlook for air travel demand remains positive, with a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels expected in 2024. Nevertheless, amid intensifying competition, airlines continue to be vigilant over costs, given fluctuations in oil prices as well as exchange rate volatility.”
AAPA November 2023 Traffic Update, Preliminary
About the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA)
The AAPA is the trade association for scheduled international airlines in the Asia Pacific region. Its permanent secretariat is in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with international representation in Brussels and Washington, D.C. The airlines in this region collectively account for over one-third of global passenger and air cargo traffic, contributing significantly to the continued growth of global aviation.