Asian passenger traffic up 14% in February

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Asian airlines have posted a 14% growth in international passenger traffic in February as demand in the region continues to recover.

The total number of passengers carried by the 15 member airlines of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), and eight non-member carriers, rose 17% to 14.2 million, says the AAPA.

Capacity, as measured in ASKs, grew 2% year-on-year. The average passenger load factor rose 8.1 percentage points to 79.2%, adds the AAPA.

On the cargo front, freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) rose 30%.

"The signs of economic recovery which first became evident in the fourth quarter of 2009 have continued to gather momentum," says AAPA director general Andrew Herdman.

"The recovery in both passenger travel and air cargo demand is certainly welcome, but will need to be coupled with careful management of costs and available capacity, if airlines are to succeed in restoring profitability following two years of heavy financial losses."