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Association of Asia Pacific Airlines: 2022 will see an increase in passenger traffic.

Preliminary traffic data for 2022 and December 2022 revealed, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), that the region’s airlines had a strong rebound all year long.

AAPA’s member airlines, which also include Air India, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airlines, transported a total of 105.4 million foreign travelers. Comparatively speaking, that represents a significant increase from 2021, when the carriers participating in the organization received 17.4 million foreign passengers on board their planes.

Governments in the region relaxed travel restrictions throughout the year in an effort to welcome back tourists, which, according to AAPA Director General Subhas Menon, “marked the beginning of a long-awaited resurgence in international tourism markets.” However, Menon noted that “demand in 2022 averaged just 27% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels, emphasizing the tremendous progress still necessary towards full recovery,” despite the association’s airlines being able to accept 507% more passengers because to pent-up travel demand.

In 2022, the average load factor for AAPA members was 72.8%, up from 32.9% in 2021. Between 2021 and 2022, the freight load factor decreased, going from 74.1% to 66.6%. In December, Menon said, the demand for air cargo “dropped by a sharp 20.7% year-on-year, bringing the decline for the whole year 2022 to 8.2%.”

However, the director general of the association is optimistic for 2023.

“The rebound in passenger demand is anticipated to continue in the upcoming months, propelled by a strong desire to travel. The recent loosening of travel restrictions in China in particular may increase demand, but the re-imposition of testing requirements for inbound travelers by some countries may temporarily hamper recovery, according to AAPA’s chief executive.

China’s zero-COVID policy was lifted in January 2023, allowing visitors from other countries to enter the country without being quarantined as of January 8, 2023. “Global capacity has climbed again, up to 427.1m, which is a 3.3% increase over last month,” reports OAG, which examined the frequency and capacity statistics for January 2023. In particular, capacity in North East Asia surged by 21.2% during the month “after the news that China will reopen to foreign travel from 8th January.”

In order to serve the traveling public and provide a seamless, safe, and sustainable service, Menon said that Asian airlines “continue to work closely with regulators, airports, and other stakeholders.”

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