Home » Aviation, Breaking News » World airport cargo traffic rose 15 percent in 2010 – report

Airports Council International (ACI), the only global trade representative of the world’s airports, has released its 2010 World Annual Traffic Report, which documents a strong rebound for global airport traffic from the two-year industry slump and shows optimism for the remainder of 2011 despite uncertainties in global developments.

The report said worldwide passenger traffic in 2010 rose by 6.6 percent, topping the 5 billion passenger mark for the first time. Cargo volumes also hit a record, surging past 91 million tonnes with 15.3 per cent growth.

The publication surveyed 1,318 airports located in 157 countries and came up with this statistics:

  • Worldwide airport passenger numbers increased by 6.6 percent in 2010 to 5.04 billion, registering increases in all six regions.
  • Middle East (+12 percent), Asia-Pacific (+11.3 percent), Africa (+9.5 percent) and Latin America-Caribbean (+13.2 percent) showed high growth while Europe and North America grew more robustly.
  • Worldwide domestic traffic increased by 5.8 percent while international traffic jumped by 7.7 percent.
  • Worldwide aircraft movements increased 1.1 percent to 74 million.
  • Total cargo volumes handled by airports jumped by 15.3 percent to 91 million tonnes.
  • Some 69 percent of airports worldwide registered positive passenger growth at an average of 8.6 percent, while 30 percent of airports lost traffic at an average rate of -4.1 percent.

Angela Gittens, director general of ACI, said that despite the industry’s rebound, “these numbers underscore the urgency of the airport capacity challenge. Airport operators worldwide are focusing on the need to provide the passenger a positive, seamless travel experience, and planning new capacity to meet the expected doubling of passengers in the next 15 to 20 years. More than ever, governments and our airline partners will need to work closely with our airports to ensure that the required capacity is added in a safe, secure, efficient and sustainable manner. At the same time, air navigation systems will need to be upgraded to keep pace with the growth curve.”

On regional trends, Gittens said emerging markets led traffic growth.

  • The Latin America-Caribbean region, fueled by strong growth in Brazil, steered all regions in 2010 with a 13.2 percent increase over 2009.
  • The Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions also experienced double-digit growth, with Africa just below them at 9.5 percent. In the Middle East, liberalized bilateral agreements and large increases in fleet capacity drove growth, particularly in the UAE and Qatar.
  • In Asia-Pacific, India’s traffic grew nearly 15 percent and China’s nearly 14 percent, as the region once again increased its global market share.
  • Increases in the mature North American and European markets were 2 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively, but they remain the number one and two regions for market share, although Asia-Pacific is rapidly closing the gap.

For 2011, Andreas Schimm, ACI’s director of economics, expects the strong global economic growth in the latter half of the year to propel the sector to another good year. But he also noted the “considerable uncertainty about oil prices, concern over sovereign debt, volatility in exchange rates, and in the US, slowing growth and persistent unemployment.”

All this was worrisome, Schimm said, particularly for the developed economies. “Growth in emerging and developing nations, however, is expected by the IMF to continue at a rapid clip, giving us considerable reason for further optimism about the remainder of the year.”

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