Asian airlines reporting international demand still above ’05 levels; load factors up in August

Image: Swine flu health scare caused demand to fall below 2005 levels
Despite famously-attentive inflight service the swine flu health scare caused demand to fall below 2005 levels for May, June and July, although in August international demand was once more between 2005 and 2006 levels.

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. Analysis of year-on-year data reveals that international demand is down around 10% for the first eight months of this year.

Chart: AAPA member airlines - Year-on-year change in international demand: 1/06 to 8/09
Source: AAPA

Passenger numbers were down just 2.9% in August, the best result since last July when traffic first began to fall. This is now the 14th consecutive month in which international demand has fallen.

Chart: Monthly traffic of AAPA member airlines - International passengers (millions)
Source: AAPA

For most of this year passenger numbers have been hovering somewhere between the levels achieved in 2005 and 2006. However, the global swine flu health scare caused demand to fall below 2005 levels for May, June and July. In August international demand was once more between 2005 and 2006 levels.

Chart: AAPA member airlines - Monthly load factor on international services 2006-2009
Source: AAPA

Encouragingly load factors were up in August for the first time this year, by 1.5 percentage points to 77.9%. The last time monthly load factor improved by at least one percentage point was November 2007. Year-to-date load factors are still down 3.3 percentage points at 73.0%.


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