Major carriers in the Asia Pacific carried 11.5 million passengers in July, down 7.8% year-on-year.

International traffic measured in RPKs fell 8.5% in July, says the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), which represents 17 major airlines in the region.

"This indicates that long-haul traffic demand remains particularly weak," says AAPA.

Overall seat capacity fell 6.5%, failing to match the decline in demand. This resulted in the average passenger load factor falling 1.7 percentage points to 76.6%. "Air cargo traffic volumes also remained week, but similarly showed a more moderate decline compared to previous months," says AAPA.

International cargo traffic measured in FTKs fell 11.4% on-year in July. AAPA notes that this is a significant improvement over the first seven months of 2009, which saw a cumulative 20.8% fall.

July's cargo capacity fell 12.1% on-year, and cargo load factors were 66.9%.

"The Asia-Pacific air transport industry continues to experience weak demand for both passenger and freight traffic, still well below the levels of last year, despite some encouraging signs of a broader economic rebound taking shape across the region," says Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general.

"Airlines are still under enormous pressure, with sharp falls in revenues as a result of lower fare levels. In managing their way through the crisis, airlines remain focused on further cost-cutting measures, whilst offering highly competitive fares and travel packages aimed at winning back more passengers."

In June, AAPA members carried 9.9 million passengers, down 16.5% on-year. RPKs fell 16% and the average international passenger load factor fell 5.7 percentage points to 70.5%. June FTKs were down 17.4% on-year.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news