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Passenger growth in Asia-Pacific and Middle East reached 12% and 15% respectively in July 2016

September 29, 2016 Airport No Comments Email Email

In July 2016, Asia-Pacific and Middle East led global passenger traffic growth at +11.6% and +15.3% respectively. The growth momentum in both regions appear to be accelerating going into the third quarter. (Note: The timing of Ramadan may have positively skewed this month’s traffic growth for some countries. Most of Ramadan occurred during June this year, but it extended into July last year.)

In Asia-Pacific, South Korean airports have been reporting sharp increase since June 2016 as passenger traffic recovers from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. In addition to this factor, the current month’s traffic is further strengthened by summer vacation travels boasting both international and domestic growth: Incheon (ICN) +44.4%, Busan (PUS) +39.9%, Jeju (CJU) +35.2%.

Growth in India continued to steam ahead with many major airports reporting growth in excess of 20% in July 2016. Top runners include: Chennai (MAA) +26.2%, Calcutta (CCU) +25.9% and Hyderabad (HYD) +25.8%.

While growth in India was primarily stimulated by domestic gains, growth in China was supported by significant rise in international passengers. The leading airports Kunming (KMG) +12.8%, Hangzhou (HGH) +11.6% and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.4% all delivered outstanding increase in international passengers at +30.9%, +56% and +20% respectively.

In the Middle East, Doha (DOH) and Muscat (MCT) were in leading positions reporting passenger traffic growth at +27.5% and +25.6% respectively for the month.

Regarding air freight, despite global trade growth remaining sluggish, in July 2016 Asia-Pacific and Middle East generated increase at +4.1% and +3.3% respectively. International air freight was strong in Asia-Pacific this month at +5.3% but this was offset by a much weaker domestic air freight traffic growth at +0.8%.

Top freight hubs in the Asia-Pacific delivered solid increase for the month: Hong Kong (HKG) +4.7%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +4.6% and Incheon (ICN) +7.9%. Among their peers, Guangzhou (CAN) +9.6% and Singapore (SIN) +9.4% generated the highest growth in the region.

The result in the Middle East was mixed, the largest hub Dubai (DXB) shrank -1.2% for the month while Doha (DOH) continued to expand at a fast pace at +20%.

TABLE 1:  Airports reporting highest preliminary year-on-year traffic growth rates in July 2016 1

Top 3 airports by size category2
Passenger Freight
> 40M 25M to 40M 15M to 25M 5M to 15M
Beijing (PEK) +3.4% Kunming (KMG) +12.8% Kansai (KIX) +10.6% Busan (PUS) +39.9% Hong Kong (HKG)
Dubai (DXB) +14% Doha (DOH) +27.5% Abu Dhabi (AUH) +7.9% Hyderabad (HYD) +25.8% Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +4.6%
Tokyo Haneda (HND) +5% Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) +3.2% Seoul Gimpo (GMP) +21.9% Phuket (HKT) +21.8% Dubai (DXB) +7.9%

Note :

  1. ACI preliminary passenger and freight statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 60% of total passenger traffic and 70% of total freight traffic worldwide. Commentary, tables and charts are based on preliminary data submitted by participating airports and are therefore subject to change.
  2.  Size categories refer to the annual passenger traffic (in the last 12 months).

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