Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Airport freight poised for record 2017; passenger traffic still robust

Airport passenger traffic remained healthy in November, while freight volumes shot up and are expected to post record growth in 2017, according to the latest data from Airports Council International (ACI).

After registering more moderate growth during October, freight volumes rose substantially in November, expanding 7.8% year-over-year as the cargo business saw gains in export orders.

Year-to-date, cargo growth stands at 8.2% and with only one month left in 2017, global freight figures are bound to reach record growth this year, said ACI.

Africa, North America, and Europe led total freight growth, logging 14.7%, 8.9%, and 8.7% in November year-on-year, respectively. Asia-Pacific volumes rose 7.2%, Latin America-Caribbean 6.9%, and the Middle East 2.9%.

Year-to-date, all regions were posting high growth at more than 5%.

International freight was the main growth driver, soaring by 7.8% after slowing down to 4.4% over the three months prior to November. Airports in the Asia-Pacific region lead in volumes handled for export and overall growth.

Double-digit growth in total freight volumes will be achieved for airports as a whole in the region for 2017, said ACI.

At the local level, large markets in Asia have been contributing to this success, with India (17.9%), China (16.7%), Japan (12.8%) and Thailand (11.5%) reaching double-digit growth year-to-date, and Hong Kong (9.5%) following close behind for international trade volumes.

The United States, the largest domestic freight market in the world, saw significant strides in volumes, increasing by 5.1% year-over-year. In Europe, growth was boosted by strong numbers in Spain (15.6%), UK (13.2%), and Turkey (11.3%), which all had year-to-date numbers reaching double-digit growth.

Meanwhile, global passenger traffic increased 7.5% in November year-over-year, above the already robust 6.5% year-over-year from January to November.

Asia-Pacific (10.6%), Africa (10.5%) and Europe (8.1%) all posted particularly high growth in November. International traffic was a key driver for these increases, especially for European and Asia-Pacific markets. Strong overall business and consumer confidence continued to boost carriers offering low-cost options.

In the Asia-Pacific, domestic traffic rose significantly during the month, surging 9.3%, although this is below the region’s international traffic growth, which stood at 12.9%.

Total passenger traffic in North America, Latin America-Caribbean and the Middle East grew at a more moderate pace, reaching 4.8%, 3.8% and 3.5%, respectively. The Middle East’s growth in passenger traffic was still disrupted by tensions between major players in the region.

At the local level, Asia-Pacific’s largest markets enjoyed significant growth in November, with Indonesia’s passenger traffic rising at 17.9% for its major commercial airports, Thailand at 15.9%, India at 14%, and China at 12.5%. Year-to-date, India and Indonesia are set to post double-digit growth in 2017.

“Current global growth by November’s end was 6.5%, in line with 2016 numbers. Unless December numbers bring surprises, this year should bring another period of high growth for the airport industry,” ACI said.

Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt  

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