Low-Cost Carriers Lead Airline Market Growth in Asia Pacific

Author: Cathy Schetzina

Published: July 19, 2012


Asia Pacific's aviation industry is on a growth tear, and low-cost carriers are leading the way. A forthcoming PhoCusWright Asia Pacific and Global Edition report, PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition Airlines: A Turbulent Ascent, reveals that the region's airline market is the fastest growing in the world – and low-cost carriers (LCCs) will grow nearly three times faster than traditional airlines across APAC in 2012.

Despite political and economic instability, natural calamities, rising oil prices and foreign exchange volatility, airline gross bookings marked double-digit gains across all APAC markets except Japan in 2011. But the standout performance came from the region's LCCs, whose passenger revenues jumped 42% in 2010 and another 27% in 2011. In 2012, PhoCusWright projects LCCs will grow 23% versus just 8% for traditional airlines.

"While traditional airlines still account for the vast majority of passenger revenue in the region, LCC outperformance over the past several years underscores the impact newer, more nimble carriers are having in the region, especially in the faster growing markets of India and Southeast Asia," said Douglas Quinby, senior director, research. "LCCs are weathering industry challenges better than their full-service counterparts, and their continued growth and expansion – abetted by the faster growing APAC economies – are yielding profit margins ahead of network carriers on average."

LCCs are instrumental in driving the online air market across the region. By 2013, LCC online gross bookings will reach US$13.3 billion, up 55% over 2011. While AirAsia, Lion Air in Indonesia, Spring Airlines in China, and several in India have led the low-cost charge, some network carriers – including Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, China Eastern, and Qantas Airways – have made big bets to capitalize on the enormous market changes underway.

PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition Airlines: A Turbulent Ascent presents market sizing and projections for the total and online leisure and unmanaged business travel markets from 2009-2013. The report analyzes competitive dynamics throughout the region, with insight into airline gross bookings and growth rates in China, Japan, Australia-New Zealand (ANZ), India, Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

Topics include:

  • Total airline market and online leisure/unmanaged business travel bookings for2009-2013
  • Segmentation for four major APAC markets: ANZ, India, China and Japan, plus Northeast and Southeast Asia
  • Comparison of airline-branded websites and online travel agencies (OTAs), including bookings and projected growth rates through 2013
  • Analysis of low-cost carriers versus network carriers
  • Impact of key APAC aviation market developments, including ancillary services, mobile and GDS regulations
Purchase PhoCusWright's Asia Pacific Online Travel Overview Fifth Edition Airlines: A Turbulent Ascent to navigate the turbulent, high-octane growth of the APAC airlines segment.

The expected publication date of this upcoming report is July 24, 2012 ($895).