The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) warns that carriers in the region will report losses in 2009 similar to 2008's losses, but it adds the market is showing signs of recovery.
AAPA member airlines carried 133 million passengers in 2009, 6% lower than the previous year, says the association, releasing its preliminary figures for 2009.
RPKS fell 7% and carriers responded by slashing capacity, as measured by ASKs, by 6% resulting in a 0.4 percentage point fall in passenger load factor to 74.6%.
Revenue freight tonne kilometres, meanwhile, fell 11% in 2009 year-on-year.
"As a result of the global recession, demand for passenger travel and air cargo shipments recorded sharp falls," says AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.
He adds, "the business impact on airlines was even more dramatic as the collapse in corporate travel and intense competition in a shrinking market saw airline revenues falling 20-25%."
"Overall, airlines in Asia Pacific are expected to report significant losses for 2009, following similar heavy losses suffered in 2008."
But "on a more optimistic note, traffic trends in recent months have shown signs of recovery," adds Herdman.