Asia Pacific carriers rebounded to profitability in 2023, on the back of a “vigorous recovery” in passenger demand and ending a loss-making streak dating from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Data from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) – covering 27 of the region’s operators – shows that combined net profit stood at around $8.8 billion last year.


Source: Alfred Chua/FlightGlobal

The association notes that passenger revenue saw the sharpest rise in 2023, more than doubling year on year to in excess of $151 billion. Still, it found that passenger yields shrank 6.7% year on year – in line with the reintroduction of capacity. 

The strong passenger recovery contrasted with a decline in combined cargo revenue, which the AAPA notes fell “markedly” by 43% year on year, to $21 billion. 

The association’s data also shows a 31% increase in combined expenses, as airlines ramped up their operations. Fuel costs rose 41.5%, but this was mitigated by a 20% drop in global jet fuel prices. 

AAPA director general Subhas Menon says: “In 2023, Asia Pacific airlines made a welcome turnaround following three consecutive years of steep losses during the Covid-19 pandemic years.” 

He notes that while the outlook for demand “continues to be strong”, there are several challenges in the horizon, including “delayed deployment of additional capacity” owing to supply strain constraints and delivery delays. 

Menon adds: “Notwithstanding, Asia Pacific airlines remain nimble and proactive, seeking to open new routes and meet customer demand. Improving cost efficiency and profitability, as well as keeping the focus on safety standards, and sustainability targets, are ongoing priorities.”