Asia Pacific carriers’ January pax at 8.1% versus same month in 2019

By Luke Barras-hill |

Source: Bangkok Airways.

Airlines across Asia Pacific carried a total of 2.7 million international passengers in January – 8.1% of the 35.2 million recorded during the same month in 2019, says the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Preliminary results released today (28 February) demonstrate continually suppressed *international traffic demand versus pre-Covid, as many carriers suffered from the reimposition of travel restrictions due to the spread of Omicron.

However, international passenger load factors averaged 41.3%, representing the second consecutive month where these have surpassed the 40% mark.

The escalating crisis in Ukraine could have a broader operational and economic impact for Asia airlines, states AAPA.

‘MUCH MORE PROGRESS’

Subhas Menon, Director General, AAPA, said: “Travel restrictions along with uncertainties resulting from the rise in Omicron infections dampened the anticipated recovery in international travel at the start of the new year.

“Nevertheless, in the light of increased vaccination rates and the relatively reduced risk of severe illness from the transmission of the Omicron variant, an increasing number of Asian governments have since adapted to living with Covid-19, including reversing or reducing international travel restrictions.

“As we move into 2022, recovery in international air travel should gain momentum. Air cargo is a bright spot for Asian airlines, with strong demand for air shipments continuing unabated in January. While year-on-year growth rates are expected to moderate in the coming months, conditions for air cargo remain positive, in tandem with further expansion in global economic activity.

He continued: “Airlines still face challenging operating conditions. The current escalating conflict in Ukraine may have a wider operational and economic impact on Asian airlines, whilst elevated fuel prices threaten to suppress earnings in an industry already struggling to survive.

“While travel restrictions have been relaxed, much more progress can be achieved to increase confidence in the travel process, with greater harmonisation and easing of cross-border travel measures based on risk assessment. To this end, AAPA continues to work cooperatively with industry stakeholders and governments for the safe and sustained recovery in air travel.”

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