ACI Media Releases
Montréal, 9 December 2013 – Airports Council International announced traffic results showing that global passenger traffic continued along its growth path for the month of October increasing by 4.9% from the previous year. With global passenger growth in the realm of 3% year-over-year for the last twelve months, October represented a banner month for passenger traffic as airports in advanced economies bounced back with strong gains heading into the third quarter of 2013.
Since global commerce was very sluggish for most of 2013, the gains in air freight signal a marked improvement in certain markets. The world’s airports reported an overall year-over-year gain of 4.1% in air freight traffic for the month of October. The rise in air freight volumes is consistent with the recent improvements in international trade volumes and overall business confidence.Regional Markets: Passengers
Africa was the only region to post a year-over-year decline for the month of October dropping by 5.2% in total passenger traffic. Egyptian airports continue to experience the brunt of political unrest. Cairo (CAI), North Africa’s busiest airport and entry to major tourist destinations, experienced a decline of 10.8% in passenger numbers. Johannesburg (JNB), continental Africa’s busiest airport, declined by 1% as compared to the previous year.
With overall growth of 8% in passenger traffic for the month of October, virtually all of the major hubs in the Asia-Pacific region experienced robust growth rates. International passenger traffic was a driving force behind the gains for the region, growing by almost 10%. While economies such as China face a cyclical slowdown, passenger traffic at Chinese airports remained relatively strong. Seven of the major Chinese airports with over two million passengers for the month of October had a combined 9% increase in passenger traffic.
The performance of air transport demand at European airports is beginning to gain momentum. Except for the peripheral countries of the Euro area, most of the major airports recovered from the weak traffic figures that persisted throughout the year. Of the top twenty airports, only Madrid (MAD), Spain’s busiest airport, and Rome (FCO) saw traffic drop by 9.8% and 1.6% respectively in October. At the other end of the spectrum, Turkish airports posted robust growth figures. Both Istanbul (IST) posted growth rates of 9.1% for the month. The region, as a whole, posted gains of 4.3%.
Latin American airports continue to report buoyant growth in passenger traffic. In particular, the Sao Paulo airports (GRU and CGH) both posted double digit gains of over 10%. In addition to the leading Brazilian airports, Mexico City (MEX), which also serves a large domestic market, posted overall gains of 7.1% in passenger traffic for October.
The Middle East continues to achieve the highest growth among all regions month after month. For the month of October traffic increased by 10%. Double digit growth rates continue to persist for airports across the region. Dubai (DXB) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) grew by 15.1% and 15.8% respectively.
While growth in North America remains at relatively modest levels, passenger traffic posted a gain of 2.8% for month of October. This represents an above average month for North America since year-over-year growth for the last twelve months was in the vicinity of 1%. As compared to other major airports in the region, Los Angeles (LAX) continues to achieve impressive passenger increases as it recorded over 6% for the month of October.
Regional Markets: Air Freight
ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “Macroeconomic indicators point to a continuing recovery in the Euro area and the United States, which are interlinked with the aviation sector. While there is a revived sense of optimism based on the latest traffic figures, it is still early to adopt the view that we are completely out of the woods. Nevertheless, key emerging aviation markets such as Dubai, Istanbul and Sao Paulo continue to post strong gains in passenger traffic in spite of the downside risks. For the month of October, only three out of the top 30 airports reported having a decline in year-over-year passenger traffic.”
Notes for Editors
Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 573 member airport authorities, which operate over 1,751 airports in 174 countries. ACI’s mission is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations, and this mandate is carried out through the organization’s multiple training opportunities, as well as the customer service benchmarking program, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.
PaxFlash and FreightFlash statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 60% of total passenger traffic and 70% of total freight traffic worldwide. Commentary, tables and charts are based on preliminary data submitted by participating airports and are therefore subject to change.