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Latest airline traffic figures make for gloomy reading


The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) today revealed that its preliminary traffic figures for September show that “both international passenger and cargo demand is at markedly depressed levels, with no sign of recovery in sight”.

The 1.1 million international passengers that flew on Asia-Pacific airlines in September, was just 3.6% of the 30 million that travelled in September 2019.

Offered seat capacity was a little higher at 11% of last year’s level. The international passenger load factor was a lowly 31.7%.

According to AAPA, whilst manufacturing conditions further improved globally, some Asian economies continue to face weakness in exports.

It notes that International air cargo demand, as measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), fell by 17.5% year-on-year in September. Offered freight capacity declined by 29.9%, leading to a 10.6% increase in the average international freight load factor, to 70.6% for the month.

AAPA director general, Subhas Menon, says: “Airlines are struggling to survive as international air travel remains severely curtailed by onerous travel restrictions.

“Without recapitalisation or fund injections, several of the region’s carriers face an existential threat. Thousands of aviation jobs are already lost, with more at risk.

“While the establishment of green lanes and travel bubbles in the region is a positive first step, their disparate and restrictive requirements make it difficult for these to take off meaningfully.

“It is critical that governments implement consistent and coordinated measures based on objective risk assessment to help restore confidence in air travel.

“The association remains committed to working with governments and industry stakeholders to safely restart international air travel as a matter of urgency.”

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