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Passenger traffic moderates, freight volume still declining in July—ACI

Asia-Pacific’s airports performed the best in passenger traffic in July, a month that saw global passenger movement continuing to moderate, according to Airports Council International (ACI). Meantime, the region’s cargo traffic continued to do poorly.

Global passenger traffic grew by +2.3% in July year-over-year, marking a slowdown from June’s +3.9% and a continuation of the moderating trend observed since the start of 2019, ACI said. The results brought year-to-date growth to +3.4%, with five months left in the year.

The freight industry showed a year-over-year decline of -2.1% in July and year-to-date remained in the negative at -2.8%.

“The global outlook remains particularly challenging for 2019, with the continued backdrop of geopolitical tensions and weakened trade relationships potentially leading to further subdued results in August and September,” ACI World director general Angela Gittens said.

“The possible regional impacts of trade and geopolitical tension could have a compounding effect on the aviation industry, even as the global economic slowdown depresses the freight market.

“Despite these challenges, we remain hopeful that material trends in the industry will prevent it from reaching particularly deep losses until the end of the year.”

On the passenger front, the international passenger market slowed down substantially in July, posting +3.1% year-over-year, down from +5.7% a month prior. The segment’s year-to-date reached +4.6%, below its +5.2% 12-month rolling average but still strong given the global backdrop. The domestic market only gained +1.6% in July, standing at +2.5% since the start of the year.

Asia-Pacific performed the best among the major regional passenger markets during the month, gaining +2.4% year-over-year. The results were a shift in trend for the region, as it has been performing much slower than Europe and North America in the last months. Its year-to-date reached +2.2%, with its international passenger market (+4.3%) continuing to drive growth during a significant slowdown in the domestic market (+1.0% for the period).

For the freight market, domestic freight rebounded in July, posting +3.3% after declining by -1.4% in June. The resulting year-to-date figure stood at +1.5% for the segment. International freight’s performance remained particularly weak, however. Year-over-year growth was down to -4.2% during the month, a less pronounced decrease than June’s -6.5%.

Year-to-date stood at -4.5%, with five months left to the year and increasingly slim chances of posting industry-wide gains by year’s end, said ACI.

Asia-Pacific did not benefit from a reprieve during the month. It lost -5% year-over-year, remaining at -5.9% on a year-to-date basis.

ACI collects and analyzes data from a significant sample of airports that provide regular reports on month-by-month passenger and air freight statistics; this forms part of the world’s most comprehensive source for airport data.

Photo By Ken Eckert

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