DEMAND for air travel continues to be on an upward trajectory this year, with Asia-Pacific airlines capturing over half of the growth in demand for international travel between October and January.
According to statistics released by IATA, overall demand showed a 2.7 per cent year-on-year increase from January last year and 2.2 per cent growth in capacity, while load averaged 77.1 per cent.
However, the association’s press release stated that the figures were distorted by the Lunar New Year season falling in February this year rather than January last year, and estimates actual growth to be higher at 3.5 per cent.
International flights outperformed the overall average with a 3.7 per cent increase in demand, 2.7 per cent growth in capacity and 77.6 per cent in load factors.
For Asia-Pacific airlines, load factors on international flights stood at 77.8 per cent, and demand rose three per cent after adjustment for seasonal factors. The Middle East and Latin America posted the strongest growth in demand, at 14.3 and 12.2 per cent respectively, and Africa reached 9.4 per cent. North America and Europe trailed with 1.5 per cent and 2.1 per cent expansion in demand respectively.
On the domestic front, capacity increased 1.4 per cent, demand hiked five per cent and load factor exceeded 80 per cent after taking seasonal effects into account.
China, the second largest market for domestic air travel, saw demand rise five per cent after seasonal adjustment and load factor at 77.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, demand fell three per cent in Japan, matched by a 2.9 per cent decline in capacity. Load factor was a weak 56.4 per cent, as the domestic market was still 12 per cent below pre-earthquake levels.
Demand was also down 4.9 per cent in India, where capacity tumbled 5.3 per cent and load factor posted 75.9 per cent.