Continuing a trend of strong growth in 2017, airport freight volumes recorded a robust 8.9% increase and passenger traffic grew 6.8% in July, according to the latest data from Airports Council International (ACI).
Fueled by strengthening global trade and industrial production, freight volumes continued their increase in July. Year-to-date, global volume reached 8.4%, drawing a particularly stark contrast with July 2016, where this number stood at 0.9%, said ACI.
Most regions posted strong growth in July, with the Asia-Pacific recording a 9.3% expansion. Africa led the group at 18.1%, followed by Europe (11.2%), and the Middle East (10.6%). North America and Latin America and Caribbean did not benefit from the same surge, increasing 6.5% and 3.8%, respectively, in line with their year-to-date numbers.
Two countries in particular helped boost Africa’s freight numbers: South Africa and Kenya, both posting growth rates of more than 20%. In Europe, Germany and the UK, the two largest freight markets in the region, contributed significantly to these numbers, standing at 9.3% and 12.5%, respectively.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport stood out in freight volumes, growing 32.2% year-over-year. Continuing a trend started in March, London-Heathrow contributed a significant part of the freight market’s increase in volume, growing 15.1% in July year-over-year. Doha International Airport continued its sustained growth in freight volume, reaching 14.5% year-over-year.
In the passenger market, despite macroeconomic forecasts remaining cautious for the year, improving conditions in most regions led to sustained growth in traffic up until July, with global year-to-date growth reaching 6.9%.
Europe again stood out, leading total passenger traffic growth with 9.9% on a year-over-year basis. The region’s year-to-date growth reached 9.4%, 1.5 percentage points over its closest peer, Asia-Pacific.
Asia-Pacific, although having benefited from typically robust growth throughout 2017, experienced a slight slowdown in July, growing 5.7%. Africa’s traffic growth accelerated during the same period, reaching 7.5% against its year-to-date figure of 5.4%.
Photo: Ralf Roletschek