Asia may be seeing the strongest airline passenger growth, but its carriers are struggling to eke out profits, dented by overexpansion.
"We're seeing an awful lot of capacity," Timothy Ross, head of transportation research for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, told CNBC. "It's highly competitive and that has seen Asian profits, both as a proportion of global totals and in absolute terms, probably trend down for the last three years,"
Asian airlines' struggle to keep profits aloft has come as their U.S. counterparts are seeing some of their most profitable years since the mid-1990s and the European market's pricing is becoming less competitive, he noted.
It's not for a lack of passengers. The region's passenger traffic is forecast to rise at a 5.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over 2013-2017, compared with expectations for 2.2 percent CAGR in the U.S., according to data released in December by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It expects traffic within the Asia-Pacific region will account for nearly 32 percent of all air-travel passengers by 2017, outpacing Europe and North America's around 23-24 percent.