Asia-Pacific Travel Market ‘Stagnant’ Amid Low Traffic in August: AAPA | News

Asia-Pacific airlines only carried 4% of international passengers in August compared to the pre-pandemic 2019, underlining the “serious weakness” of the region’s travel market which remains “in stagnation”.

Data from the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) for August shows that the industry body’s 40 member airlines carried just 1.35 million international passengers. While this was a 96% drop from 2019, it represented a 57% year-over-year increase.

Capacity for the month was only around 14% of pre-pandemic levels, although it was around 50% above the 2020 lower base.

The sad record of traffic shows “the persistent lack of recovery in demand, in stark contrast to the summer months preceding the start of this global health crisis”, specifies the association.

AAPA chief Subhas Menon notes that while other parts of the world are gradually recovering, travel to Asia-Pacific remains “stagnant” amid protracted border control measures imposed.

Yet Menon sees the region’s current vaccination campaign as a “positive step towards resuming air travel”, but warns that immunization inequity “remains a major stumbling block”.

Menon says, “While the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant indicates that there is no immediate end in view of the global pandemic, the accelerating rollout of national immunization in a number of Asian economies is a positive step towards resuming air travel. , as evidenced by the gradual relaxation of border controls in some countries.

“In addition to accelerating access to vaccines, we also call on governments to refrain from unilateral border measures that will only hinder the much needed recovery of air transport and the economy at large,” adds Menon. .

The freight market remained dynamic in August, amid booming e-commerce and demand for intermediate goods, according to AAPA.

Cargo tonne-kilometers for the month were up 26% year-on-year, due to port congestion in major markets such as China.