A “healthy travel appetite” – especially in the short-haul market – boosted international passenger traffic among Asia Pacific carriers in October, with near-term prospects still looking positive. 

International traffic data from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for October shows the region’s carriers doubling their passenger volumes year on year, to 25.3 million. The figure is around 80.5% that of pre-pandemic 2019. 


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Asia Pacific carriers saw continued improvement in passenger travel demand.

Traffic, meanwhile, climbed about 86% – helped by “relative strength” of the short-haul travel market – with capacity growing at 78%. In turn, passenger load factors rose about 3.4 percentage points year on year to 80.4%, a figure that is higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

AAPA director Subhas Menon says: “Asia-Pacific carriers continued to enjoy robust growth in business and leisure travel markets going into the fourth quarter, reflecting healthy travel appetite supported by resilient growth of the region’s economies.” 

AAPA data also showed a second consecutive month of improvement in cargo demand. Asia Pacific carriers saw a 3.2% increase in freight-tonne kilometres, when compared to the “depressed volumes” in the year-ago period. 

Adds Menon: “The [region’s] airlines posted a second consecutive month of growth in international air cargo demand in October, ahead of major promotional retail sales periods such as Singles Day, supporting higher volumes of e-commerce shipments going into the year-end festive season.” 

He notes that while the uptick is a welcome improvement, “the outlook remains uncertain, against a background of continued declines in export orders”. 

On the passenger side, Menon expects further growth in the coming months, with demand expected to remain positive. 

He adds: “Overall, the region’s carriers remain focused on improving financial performance following three years of steep pandemic-led losses, whilst delivering the highest levels of customer service.”