Asia-Pacific airlines had a good start of the year in January, with international passenger and cargo businesses improving year on year.

Airlines in the region carried 27 million international passengers in January, up 49.4% year on year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.

SIA A350-900

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

An SIA A350-900 in Ho Chi Minh City in December 2023. Asia-Pacific airlines are off to a good start in 2024

“The year started on a positive note for Asia Pacific airlines, as both international air passenger and cargo markets saw robust growth, supported by the timing of the Lunar New Year festive period,” says AAPA director general Subhas Menon.

“Travel demand was boosted by a rise in leisure travellers, while cargo markets benefitted from heightened demand for air shipments ahead of the festive period.”

International RPKs jumped 48.3% year on year, as ASKs rose 51.3%. Load factors dropped 1.6 percentage points to 79.9%.

International FTKs rose 22.5% as FATKs rose 25.8%, with freight load factors falling 1.6 percentage points to 57.5%.

“The upcoming year looks broadly positive for Asian carriers, given the renewed optimism on the global economic outlook,” says Menon.

“However, as capacity restoration progresses, airlines face intensifying competition. In addition, the cost environment remains challenging, as inflationary pressures continue to be felt amid ongoing supply chain issues. Nevertheless, airlines remain pro-active in seeking new growth opportunities, while maintaining the highest safety and customer service standards.”