ACI Media Releases

Chinese airports are the largest contributor to global growth in air transport demand - Sep 26, 2017

Chinese airports are the largest contributor to global growth in air transport demand


 

Montréal, 26 September 2017 – Airports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report. ACI’s flagship publication, representing over 2,400 airports in 175 countries worldwide, reveals that airports in China contributed 21.6% to the overall increase in global passenger traffic from 2015 to 2016. This was followed by the United States (12.6%) and India (8.8%).

“The Chinese contribution alone represented an increase of over 100 million passengers in a single year, equivalent to the total annual traffic of Atlanta-Hartsfield (ATL), the world’s busiest airport in the United States,” said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “A similar occurrence is observed with respect to the global share of year over year increases in air cargo volumes (23.5%) and aircraft movements (27.6%) that are handled by Chinese airports.”

Aviation shifts eastward, capitalizing on the demographic dividend

Besides China’s contribution to global growth, several other Asian countries are also home to some of the fastest growing airports in the world. Aviation continues to shift eastward, capitalizing on the demographic dividend. ACI’s Emerging Aviation Market Index, which tracks 19 high growth emerging markets that have a significant critical mass of passenger and air cargo throughput, accounts for 38.5% and 33.9% of global traffic respectively. Countries such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam have achieved double-digit growth on an annualized basis since 2006 and are poised to grow even more in the future as subject to infrastructure capacity considerations. Similarly, countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey, home to global connecting hubs, have experienced exponential growth in under a decade.

“85% of the world resides in emerging markets and developing economies. China and India alone represent over 35% of the world’s population. Growing incomes, a burgeoning middle class and peaking working age populations in some of these markets has translated into the rapid rise in the propensity to travel. Thus, it is no surprise that China, the most populous country on the globe, was the leading contributor to global growth in passenger traffic in 2016,” Gittens concluded.

Key statistics in brief

  • The top 3 contributors to global passenger traffic growth by country share are:
    • China (People's Republic of China) (101 million increase in passengers representing a share of 21.6% of the global increase);
    • United States (59 million increase in passengers representing a share of 12.6% of the global increase); and,
    •  India (41 million increase in passengers representing a share of 8.8% of the global increase).
  • The top 3 contributors to global air cargo volume growth by country share are:
    • China (People's Republic of China) (986 thousand increase in metric tonnes representing a share of 23.5% of the global increase);
    • United States (671 thousand increase in metric tonnes representing a share of 16% of the global increase); and,
    • Qatar (303 thousand increase in metric tonnes representing a share of 7.2% of the global increase).
  • Airports located in emerging markets and developing economies continue to make robust gains in passenger traffic and air cargo volumes with year over year growth of 8% and 5.3% respectively in 2016. These growth levels are in the realm of 8.5% and 4.7% respectively on an annualized basis for the period from 2006 to 2016.
  • Airports located in emerging and developing Asia are among the fastest growing in the world. Passenger traffic and air cargo volumes have increased 10% and 5.6% on an annualized basis from 2006 to 2016. In 2016, airports located in ASEAN-5 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) saw traffic jump 12.8% and 4.2% respectively as compared to the previous year.
  • With 1.7 billion passengers, BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which represent 21.7% of global passenger traffic, achieved strong growth of 8.2% in passenger traffic. MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) also achieved robust traffic growth, with 5.5% increase in passenger traffic in 2016.
  • Airports located in the populous BRICS countries have observed annualized growth of 9.1% in passenger traffic and 5.5% in air cargo volumes for the period from 2006 to 2016. Similarly, MINT countries had comparative growth of 8.1% and 5.6% respectively over the same period.
  •  ACI’s Emerging Aviation Markets, a group of countries with a significant critical mass of airport traffic and growth, represent almost 38.5% of global passenger traffic and 33.9% of global air cargo volumes in 2016. On an annualized basis, traffic has grown 9.1% and cargo volumes 5.2% for the period from 2006 to 2016.
Notes for editors
 

1.Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2017, ACI serves 623 members operating 1,940 airports in 176 countries.

2. Learn more on, and/or order the ACI World Airport Traffic Report. With comprehensive data coverage for over 2,400 airports in 175 countries worldwide, ACI’s flagship publication remains the authoritative source and industry reference for the latest airport traffic trends, rankings and data rankings on air transport demand. 

3. Download the latest WATR infographic.

4. Download the PDF version of this media release

 
Media contact
 
Sabrina Guerrieri 
Manager, Communications 
ACI World 
Telephone: +1 514 373 1223 
Email:  mediarelations@aci.aero 
 
Anita Berthier 
Manager, External Relations and Special Events   
ACI World   
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254   
Email: mediarelations@aci.aero
 

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Year-over-year percentage changes (% YOY) are calculated from a representative sample.