MALAYSIA: AAPA optimistic but warns of fragility

With air cargo figures down 11 per cent for the full-year 2009 and passenger numbers down 5.7 per cent, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has welcomed recent signs of a recovery in traffic, but warned that the recovery depends on what it says “still appears to be a rather fragile global economic recovery”. […]


With air cargo figures down 11 per cent for the full-year 2009 and passenger numbers down 5.7 per cent, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has welcomed recent signs of a recovery in traffic, but warned that the recovery depends on what it says “still appears to be a rather fragile global economic recovery”. AAPA added that the 17-member carriers made corresponding cuts in capacity resulting in an average cargo load factor of 66.1 per cent, almost unchanged from the previous year.

“We have been through downturns before, but none as severe as we’ve experienced in the past two years,” said AAPA’s director-general, Andrew Herdman. “The business impact on airlines was even more dramatic as the collapse in corporate travel and intense price competition in a shrinking market saw airline revenues falling by 20 to 25 per cent,” he said.

But pointing to signs of recovery, Herdman said: “On a more optimistic note, traffic trends in recent months have shown signs of recovery, in line with the improving global economic outlook led by developing economies in the Asia Pacific region. The cargo business is regaining some of its dynamism, and passenger demand on short-haul leisure routes within the region has already picked up, although business travel demand is recovering more slowly,” he said.