Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region achieved modest growth in 2012, largely a result of strong passenger demand as cargo sales continued to contract, according to the latest statistics from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
Regional airlines saw US$5.2 billion in combined net profits in 2012, up 6.7 percent from the $4.8 billion reported for 2011.
“Sustained growth in passenger markets helped mitigate a challenging operating environment marked by prolonged weakness in air cargo markets and persistently high jet fuel prices,” AAPA said in a statement.
Combined operating revenue in 2012 for the region’s carriers grew by 7.6 percent to reach $175 billion from $162.7 billion in 2011.
Passenger revenues improved to $133.5 billion for an 8.5 percent growth in demand in both business and leisure travel markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
Cargo revenues declined by 3.3 percent to $21.1 billion.
“Asia Pacific airlines in general recorded a modest improvement in their overall financial performance for 2012,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general, as he forecast that growth this year will mostly still come from the passenger side.