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Asian passenger traffic improves in November

Passenger traffic among major Asian carriers grew in November 2009, rising 3.5% year-on-year and providing further evidence of a recovery in air traffic demand.

International RPKs among the 17 members of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) grew 3.5%, with the number of international passenger carried rising 4.5% to 11.1 million, says the association.

Capacity as measured by ASKs fell 3.1%, and the average load factor among the carriers was 4.9 percentage points higher at 76.3%.

The international cargo market continued to recover. November's freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) rose 12%. The AAPA average international air cargo load factor was 8.2 percentage points higher at 71.1%.

"After a difficult year, in which AAPA international passenger traffic has fallen 8%, and international air cargo traffic registered a 14% decline, the November traffic figures are mildly encouraging, in line with the broader economic recovery underway being led by the Asia Pacific region," says Andrew Herdman, director-general of the AAPA.

"In absolute terms, demand remains well below pre-recession levels," adds Herdman. "In addition, the aviation industry is still wrestling with the problem of low yields and continuing oil price volatility, so a recovery in airline profitability is still some way off. Overall, market conditions remain extremely challenging."

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