Asia-Pacific Passenger Traffic Increases in 2009

1 February 2010 (Last Updated February 1st, 2010 18:30)

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger traffic within the Asia-Pacific region increased in 2009 making it the world's largest aviation market ahead of North America. The Asia-Pacific region recorded 647 million passengers during 2009, while North Amer

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger traffic within the Asia-Pacific region increased in 2009 making it the world's largest aviation market ahead of North America.

The Asia-Pacific region recorded 647 million passengers during 2009, while North America recorded 638 million.

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to record a further 217 million passengers a year by 2013.

Speaking at the Singapore Air Show Aviation Leadership Summit, IATA's director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said that short-term efforts to battle cost reductions and efficiency gains were detrimental to achieving the Asia-Pacific region's potential.

The global aviation industry is expected to reduce losses to $5.6bn in 2010 compared with $11.0bn in 2009.

Asia-Pacific-based carriers are predicted to see losses shrink from $3.4bn in 2009 to $700m in 2010.

Asia-Pacific is home to two of the world's top five profitable airlines and two of the biggest growth markets - India and China.

Airlines in the region were offered more than $10bn in government bailout packages in the first quarter of last year.

China has replaced Japan as Asia-Pacific's largest player over the last decade and currently has a fleet of 1,400 aircraft compared with Japan's 540 aircraft.