Airlines continue to look to Asia Pacific for growth amid global economic uncertainty as the region’s economies continue expansion in the global airline industry, says Abacus International.
Carriers based in Asia Pacific will make profits of $2.1 billion in 2012, according to forecasts from the International Air Transport Association.
This accounts for 60 per cent of the total profits predicted for the global airline industry, making Asia Pacific a key region for aviation growth.
“We see tremendous growth potential in Asia Pacific,” said Robert Bailey, president and chief executive, Abacus International.
“The Asia Pacific region is now the world’s single largest aviation market as well as a growing economic powerhouse, making it crucial for airlines to be a part of this market for increased growth.”
Of the expected global air passenger traffic increase by 2014 to 800 million, 360 million or 45 per cent of those will travel on Asia Pacific routes, with China and India being the biggest contributor.
Chinese tourists made 57 million outbound trips in 2010 and this is expected to rise to 100 million by 2015 while India has been experiencing double-digit growth in the travel industry and is expected to have around 1.8 billion travellers by 2021.
The growth in traveller numbers comes as these two countries experience a burgeoning middle class who are travelling both domestically and internationally in ever increasing numbers.
The trend for increased travel by the middle class will grow as Asia expects to add at least an additional 2.5 billion people to its middle class by 2030.
“Asia travel demand is not uniform and the trajectory of growth does not move in a straight line,” continued Bailey.
“In the first half of 2012, we have observed some softening of travel in key markets like India as evidenced by the challenges faced by Kingfisher airlines.
“Such matters are more than compensated by steady growth from China as mainland Chinese airlines adopt an aggressive international expansion strategy in response to potential leakage of domestic travel demand to high speed rail.
“In addition, the ASEAN markets (with population base of over 500 million) and North Asian markets including Japan, Korea and Taiwan are bubbling with optimism.
“Taken as an aggregate, Asia will still lead the world in travel transactions growth over the next decade,” Bailey concluded.