ACI Media Press Release Archives (2011)
|Montréal, 07 November 2011 – Despite the on-going fears of a global economic slowdown, overall passenger traffic remains unfettered with year-over-year growth reaching +4.8 percent in September. The positive growth is attributed to a buoyant rise in international travel where traffic has grown by +6.6 percent.|
Latin America and the Caribbean lead all other regions in terms of growth patterns at +8 percent. This is fuelled primarily by strong domestic demand for air travel in airports residing in the most populous countries - Brazil and Mexico. Robust growth rates in passenger traffic are also observed in the Middle East (+7.1 percent) with Abu Dhabi (AUH) significantly contributing to regional growth at +17.1 percent. Overall passenger growth for Europe is at +6.6 percent. Atatürk International Airport (IST) was among the growth leaders in this region where traffic increased to an impressive +22.5 percent. Russian airports also boasted great gains as Moscow airports (DME and SVO) reported passenger growth of +20.5 and +16.2 percent respectively. Asia-Pacific’s overall passenger figures have increased by +4.8 percent. Growth in this region is lead primarily by Chinese, Indian and Thai airports. Xiamen (XMN), New Delhi (DEL), Bangkok (BKK) each posted healthy gains of +25.8 percent, +23.2 percent and +15.9 respectively. North America continues to have stable but relatively modest passenger growth at 2.7 percent. Conversely, Northern Africa continues to feel the brunt of political unrest, which translates into Africa’s continental decline in growth rates. The year-over-year decline for the region is -6.4 percent.
Air freight, on the other hand, tells an entirely different story for the month of September as an overall decline is observed in global freight volume for much of the developed world. Year-over-year freight growth remained in negative territory for the fifth consecutive month at -3.7 percent. With business confidence eroding in an uncertain economic climate, this sentiment is partly reflected in the freight data. Domestic freight traffic exhibits the most significant declines at -4.4 percent whereas international trade via air show declines of -3.3 percent.
North America has witnessed the sharpest decline in air freight at -6.3 percent as compared to September 2010. The combination of economic and environmental factors crippled many American airports particularly along the eastern seaboard. For instance, port airports such as Newark (EWR) experienced a decline of -16.1 percent due in large part to Hurricane Irene. The impact from the hurricane was especially felt in late August and early September. For the North American region as a whole, both international and domestic freight traffic have declined by -6.6 and -6.2 respectively. Export intensive regions such as the Asia-Pacific also displayed a negative growth rate at -3.2 percent. Major Chinese airports saw declines in international freight traffic. Shanghai airports (SHA and PVG) were down by -8.3 and -7.3 percent. Hong Kong (HKG) saw declines of -6.1 percent. Double digit declines were also observed in Japanese airports such as Nagoya (NGO; - 13.2 percent) and Osaka (ITM: -11.7 percent; KIX: -10 percent).
Europe’s freight traffic also remains sluggish at -2.5 percent, which is attributed to a decline in international traffic. The key economic frontrunners in Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA) and London (LHR) all saw declines in international traffic of -6 percent, -5.7 percent and -3.7 percent respectively. The Middle East saw declines of -1.5 percent while Latin America and the Caribbean had flat growth for the month of September. Africa continues to show the greatest volatility in month to month growth patterns. Unaffected by the interconnection of declines in other regions, Africa posted gains of +16.9 percent in freight traffic. This has been driven primarily by Johannesburg (JNB) where international freight has risen by +19.5 percent.
ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “Passenger growth continues to show robust gains particularly with respect to international traffic, where year-over-year growth has attained 6.6%. While passenger growth continues to weather the storm of economic uncertainty, global freight traffic appears to be less enduring. As major economies wait for the outcome of sovereign debt issues to unravel particularly in the Euro zone area, international trade in air freight appears to be on the side-lines. If the uncertainty persists into the last quarter of 2011, we are likely to see growth rates in negative territory for freight traffic.”