ACI Media Press Release Archives (2010)

International passenger growth slows in August - International freight up 19% - 02/09/2010

Geneva, 4 October 2010– ACI World’s August PaxFlash and FreightFlash confirms the softening of growth expected for the second half of the year. International traffic expanded by 6.3 percent year-on-year trailed by a 4.9 percent growth in domestic traffic resulting in an overall passenger number increase of 5.6 percent in August.
Table 1: Summary Worldwide Traffic Results, August 2010
(% change)
August 2010
over August2009
YTD Jan - Aug 2010 
Rolling 12 months,
 to August2010
International passenger
Domestic passenger
Total passenger
International freight
Domestic freight
Total freight

As in previous months Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Caribbean topped the other regions with double digit international passenger growth of 11.6 percent and 17.4 percent respectively (Table 2). Remarkably in Latin America-Caribbean none of the 34 airports in the sample registered a decline in total passengers in August. São Paulo-Guarulhos the biggest airport in the sample registered a whopping 31 percent increase whileMexico Cityonly grew moderately (3.5%). Domestic traffic in the region grew event stronger (+19.2%) than international passenger throughput (+17.4%). With the exception of Salvador (+19%) all 15 Brazilian airports in the sample expanded by more than 20 percent driven by international and domestic traffic alike. In Asia-Pacific only Bangkok Suvarnabhumi recorded a mild drop in passengers (-0.5%) whereas the other 36 airports in the sample all reported growth led by airports inChinaandIndia. An 11.6 percent increase in international was supplemented by 9 percent growth in domestic passenger resulting in 9.9 percent overall growth.

The Middle East (+1.3%) experienced a marked slowdown in air travel as the Ramadan season covered the best part of August reducing travel activity which also had some effect on passenger numbers in other regions such as Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
ACI Director Economics, Andreas Schimm comments, "While it is normal to see growth numbers coming down as we start to compare growth against growth, it is positive to see that the number of airports that still lose traffic reduced drastically with some regions showing nothing but positive figures in the sample. Further softening of growth rates can be expected during the last 4 months so that worldwide passenger numbers are expected to increase between 4 and 5 percent in 2010".
In the freight market, international freight for the first time since November 2009 grew less than 20 percent significantly down from its 35 percent peak in May (Table 3). The Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region registered the slowest international growth rates at 10.6 percent and 17.1 percent respectively. The other regions retained growth above 20 percent lead by Africa (+35.3%) and North America (+23.8%). Domestic freight was accelerated by a 9.1 percent increase in North America which contrasted with a modest 3.1 percent growth in Asia-Pacific.
Schimm comments: “Total freight growth in August of 15.1 percent was lower than the 12-month rolling average of 16.6 percent which indicates a sharp softening of the recovery. The relatively moderate numbers in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East which account for half of the international air freight market could point to further slowing of trade.”