Demand for air travel in Asia to fall

Asian traffic continues to be hit by aftermath of Japan disasters

Demand for air travel in Asia is forecast to drop in the coming months due to Japan’s long, slow recovery from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in March. Key periods in Asian passenger traffic since then have been clearly lower this year. Since Japan accounts for around $65 billion and 94 million travellers – in other words 10% of the global travel market – a 1.2% fall in demand in Asia is predicted for the month of May.
“If you look at the Golden Week holiday last week, which is traditionally the most important travel activity of the year for Japan, there has been a marked slowdown in outbound Japanese travel,” Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst at Standard & Poor’s, explains.
Asiana Airlines, one of South Korea’s two biggest carriers, is reporting a fall in passenger traffic of as much as 25-30%. Other airlines from China and North-East Asia are also seeing declines in demand, although those in South-East Asia continue to grow thanks to greater numbers of people in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam taking to the air.