AAPA members’ international traffic falls in July; Beijing now busiest airport in the region

Image: Lead Image
Cathay Pacific launched a four times weekly service between Hong Kong and Chennai (Madras) on 2 June and is operated with an A330. Cathay Pacific chief executive Tony Tyler and Eva Cheng, Secretary for Transport and Housing of the Hong Kong SAR Government, perform a traditional Indian lamp-lighting ceremony at an event to mark Cathay Pacific’s expansion of services to India.

Logo: AAPAThe Association of Asia Pacific Airlines currently consists of 17 members – Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Dragonair, EVA Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International and Vietnam Airlines. Each month the association reports provisional international traffic figures for all its members combined.

Chart: Monthly traffic of AAPA member airlines
Source: AAPA

In the second quarter of 2008 international passenger numbers have increased by 2.6% to 35.73 million. However, average passenger load factors fell from 75.5% in 2Q 2007 to 75.0% a year later. Overall in the first half of 2008 international demand has increased by 3.1% while passenger load factor has fallen 0.2 percentage points to 76.3%.

Traffic falls in July

The warning signs were there in June when traffic grew by just 1.4%, but in July it finally happened. International traffic fell compared to the previous year by 0.6%. More worryingly for the airlines average load factors also fell by 1.3 percentage points in the month which traditionally achieves the highest load factor of the year.

Beijing now #1 airport in the region

Fresh from hosting the Olympics and completion of its stunning new terminal building, Beijing airport has overtaken Tokyo Haneda to be the busiest airport in Asia based on scheduled seat capacity.

Chart: Busiest airports in Asia-Pacific region 2008
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 1 September 2008

Chinese airports are gradually working their way up the rankings with both Shanghai airports now in the top 15 along with Guangzhou.


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