Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Lunar New Year timing thrusts air freight volumes upward

Global air freight volumes surged 7.8% in February as compared to the previous year, the accelerated growth affected by the timing of the Chinese New Year.

For the period, international freight posted a greater growth rate than domestic freight at 9.6% and 3.1%, respectively, according to the latest figures from Airports Council International (ACI).

Much of the rise is attributed to the schedule of the Chinese New Year this year. As a result, Hong Kong, Shanghai-Pudong, Seoul-Incheon, and Tokyo-Narita reported traffic gains of 14.1%, 20.8%, 17%, and 11.9%, respectively.

Based on the global sample of airports, 17 of the top 20 airports in terms of air freight volumes experienced year-over-year growth for February, including Miami, Frankfurt, Doha, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, global passenger traffic increased 3.5% in February, which was below the past 12-month growth trend of 5.3%. February year-over-year traffic growth was distorted by the timing of the Chinese New Year that fell in January as opposed to February last year, and the fact that 2016 was also a leap year.

The world’s airports reported a rise of 5.7% in international passenger traffic and 1.9% in domestic traffic. Accumulated total passenger traffic growth for January and February was 5.6% year-over-year.

Changi Airport cargo spikes

Meanwhile, Singapore Changi Airport reported handling 146,870 tonnes of cargo shipments in February, up 7.9% compared to the same period last year.

Passenger traffic for the month remained stable compared to a year ago, which saw travel boosted by the Lunar New Year holidays in February 2016. For February 2017, the air hub handled 4.67 million passenger movements, an increase of 1.5% year-on-year.

Photo: Oscar Flowers

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