Asia-Pacific airlines carried 22.9 million international passengers in May, up 11.8% year-over-year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Passenger load factors were also up slightly at an average of 76.3%, compared to Europe, the Middle East and North American carriers, which reported load factors in the high 70s.

“International air passenger markets remained buoyant in May ... Asian carriers are continuing to strive for further operating efficiencies with an eye on improving overall profitability this year after some disappointing results in 2014,” AAPA DG Andrew Herdman said.

However, firm demand in major North Asian markets helped maintain regional growth, Herdman said. RPMs grew 9.6%, partly driven by the lower 6.7% expansion in available seat capacity. Air cargo load factor dropped to 63.5% demand, partly due to a 5.1% expansion in freight capacity although cargo traffic in freight tonne mile (FTM)terms was up 2.9%.

“International air cargo markets saw further growth in May, albeit at a moderate pace compared to the preceding months,” Herdman said.

He said this was partly due to a hump in demand following strikes at US West Coast container depots. Overall, Asian airlines registered a 6.3% increase in international air freight demand for the first five months of the year.