Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Asian airlines innovate as economic power shifts eastward—AAPA

Asia-Pacific carriers are looking into innovative courses of action, such as strategic realignments and multifaceted airline offerings, as they take a leading role in the rapidly reshaping global air transport industry, says a top official of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

“2012 is proving to be a pivotal year for the global air transport industry, with enterprising carriers from the Asia Pacific region at the forefront of major developments,” said Andrew Herdman, AAPA director general. “Groundbreaking deals that would have been unimaginable even a year ago are rapidly turning previous rivals into long-term strategic partners.”

The shift of global economic power eastwards is continuing, driven by the rapid development of China and India, with added momentum from other dynamic Asian economies including Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, AAPA said in a statement.

Steadily rising incomes are driving sustained growth in travel demand, which is being met by innovative Asian airlines using a variety of business models.

But even as passenger traffic remains relatively robust, Herdman said the industry faces more immediate challenges, including a very weak cargo market and the persistent impact of high fuel prices.

“The global economic slowdown has had a dramatic impact on air freight, which has remained depressed as a result of weak consumer confidence in Europe and the United States, with a corresponding slowdown of exports from Asia. As Asian carriers operate large freighter fleets and account for approximately 40 percent of global air cargo traffic, they have been particularly hard hit by the current cargo market weakness.”

He said Asian airlines have been responding to these obstacles by “continuing to invest in service innovation, adding new and more fuel-efficient aircraft to deliver further efficiencies whilst meeting the projected future growth in travel demand.”


Photo: mikecogh

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