ACI Media Releases

Preliminary 2012 World Airport Traffic and Rankings - Mar 26, 2013

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA, 26 March 2013 ACI preliminary traffic results, based on reports from over 1093 airports worldwide, indicate that global passenger traffic grew at a rate of 4 percent while cargo and aircraft movements were flat as compared to 2011.

Global passenger traffic has remained resilient in the face of global uncertainties and downside risks that plagued the global economy throughout 2012. While airports in the developed economies of Europe and North America experienced only modest gains in passenger traffic, with year-over-year growth of +1.7 and +1.2 percent respectively, air transport markets in emerging economies continue to show buoyant activity. As many as five airports in emerging markets with over 40 million passengers reported double-digit growth rates. These airports include Istanbul (IST; +20.6), Dubai (DXB; +13.2), Jakarta (CGK; +12.1), Bangkok (BKK; +10.6) and Singapore (SIN; +10.0).

The volume of air cargo in 2012 remained more or less at 2010 and 2011 levels. Most regions remained relatively weak in relation to their year-over-year growth rates. Half of the airports in the top 30 busiest cargo airports experienced declines in 2012. With an overall contraction of -2.6 percent in cargo traffic across European airports, the only bright spot was Middle Eastern airports with year-over-year growth in the realm of +5 percent for the region as a whole in 2012.

ACI World’s Director of Economics Rafael Echevarne commented, “Although we saw slightly lower year-over-year growth rates in passenger traffic in 2012, from month to month as compared to 2011, the overall result for the year was in line with ACI forecasts, which factored in the slowdown in certain European and North American markets. Air cargo had mixed results throughout 2012 with some months showing modest gains while other months posting declines. Amid the significant downside risks in the Euro area and the fiscal deadlock in the United States that remained omnipresent throughout the year, growth in the air cargo market came to an overall halt in 2012. As the global economy and international trade gradually picks up steam, we are optimistic to see stronger demand for air transport in the latter half of 2013.”

Airport Rankings

Atlanta (+3.3%) continues to be the world’s busiest airport, while Beijing (+4.1%) maintains second place. London Heathrow (+0.9%) remains in third while Tokyo Haneda (+6.7%) moves into fourth position. Chicago O’Hare (-0.1%) takes fifth place. Only three other airports in the top 30 experienced declines in passenger traffic in 2012, which include Madrid (-9.0%), Houston (-0.4%) and Phoenix (-0.3%). See tables 1, 2, 3.

SUMMARY: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FOR 2012 (compared with 2011 figures)

         Total Passengers: +4.0%
         Total International Passengers: +5.6%
         Total Cargo (includes mail): 0.0%
         Total International Freight: -0.1%
         Total Aircraft Movements: -0.2%

Notes for Editors

1.  ACI, the only worldwide association of airports, is a non-profit organization whose prime purpose is to represent the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. ACI has 580 members who operate over 1751 airports in 174 countries and territories.

2. For queries concerning the statistics, please contact Cheryl Marcell, Director of Communications and Events, ACI World cmarcell@aci.aero or James Roach, Communications Manager, ACI World jroach@aci.aero

3. Please note that preliminary results are based on the submissions of over 1093 reporting entities. The final confirmed report, which will be published in summer 2013, will include any outstanding airport reports, and therefore figures are subject to variation.

Click here for the PDF of the full press release.