The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) remains optimistic that passenger travel demand will continue to hold steady in the coming months, even as cargo demand continues to slump.

In traffic figures released for April, association director general Subhas Menon says traffic recovery in Asian travel markets is still strong, with traffic within and from the region “experiencing robust growth”.

Changi Terminal 1 October 2022

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

Passengers at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 in October 2022

Asia Pacific carriers flew about 20.3 million international passengers in April, a three-fold jump year on year. International traffic and capacity doubled year on year, with traffic recovering to about 63% that of pre-pandemic 2019.

As for cargo, freight-tonne kilometres fell 5.5% year on year, while capacity rose 10.4%, leading to a slump in overall freight load factors.

“[Export] activity remained relatively muted, held back by declines in new business orders and trade barriers due to geopolitical tensions. The easing of supply chain pressures globally also encouraged a shift to maritime shipping,” states the AAPA.

On the near-term outlook, Menon is buoyant about travel demand: “Growth prospects for international passenger markets remain healthy, supported by positive trends in forward bookings over the coming months.”

He adds: “To meet strong recovery in demand, Asian airlines are working with aviation stakeholders to restore flights to various destinations, while prioritising safety, sustainability, and travel convenience.”