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ANALYSIS: Asia-Pacific load factors up two points in March 2013

Major Asia-Pacific carriers enjoyed increased load factors during March 2013, with only two of 16 carriers suffering moderate load factor declines.

Across 16 key carriers, load factors were up by an average of 2.2 percentage points to 81.3% in March 2013 compared with the same month in 2012, according to traffic data compiled by Flightglobal.

 Asia March 13 traffic

Note: changes in Air China reporting mean comparative data not available

China's Hainan Airlines Group posted the highest load factor - 87.8% - and was the biggest gainer, with a 5-percentage point increase.

The only two carriers that recorded declines were Qantas Airways, whose load factor fell by 1.2 percentage points to 79.8%, and Singapore Airlines, whose load factor was marginally lower at 79.3%.

Passenger traffic, as measure by RPKs, across the region recorded strong gains, rising by 9.2% compared with March 2012.

Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo saw its March RPKs jump by 34% year on year, compared with a capacity increase of 30% as measured by ASKs. IndiGo and the other Indian carrier in the survey, low-cost carrier SpiceJet, likely benefited from the rapid demise of Kingfisher Airlines in 2012.

The 16 carriers in the sample carried 35 million passengers in March, up by 11% from a year earlier.

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