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Passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew 8.4% and 3.8% respectively in October 2016

January 3, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email
In October 2016, Asia-Pacific and Middle East reported passenger traffic increase at +8.4% and +3.8% respectively.

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In Asia-Pacific, domestic passenger travels continued to stimulate growth in India with many airports reporting passenger traffic increase in excess of 20% compared to the same month last year. Top runners include: Calcutta (CCU) +37.7%, Goa (GOI) +24.4% and Bangalore (BLR) +23.6%.

In China, while still primarily a domestic market, many airports are actively pursuing growth in international passengers. Kunming (KMG) led the pack in October 2016 with overall passenger increase at +15.4% followed by Xi’an (XIY) +15.1% and Tianjin (TSN) +14.8%.

Elsewhere in the region, Kuala Lumpur (KUL) maintained its momentum of recovery from a period of slow growth since 2014 and delivered an increase at +14.6%. Hong Kong (HKG) was the only major hub in the region recorded a decline of -0.8% in October, largely caused by one-off flight reduction arrangements to accommodate the airport’s transition to a new air traffic management system.

The pace of passenger traffic growth in the Middle East appeared to be slowing down against the backdrop of a more challenging market environment. Dubai (DXB), the largest hub in the region, recorded +2.7% more passengers than same month last year whereas Doha (DOH) remained in leading position delivering growth at +16.7%.

Regarding air freight, despite global trade growth remaining weak, in October 2016 both Asia-Pacific and Middle East continued the strong performance in recent months and generated an increase of +10.2% and +11.5% respectively.

In Asia-Pacific, the surge in volume in October was contributed in part by the strengthening of international freight market. In addition, the gaining popularity of e-commerce in the region may have given further stimulus to air freight as it plays an increasingly important role in the e-commerce chain. The top three freight hubs all delivered robust increase: Hong Kong (HKG) +7.1%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.3% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +10.6%.

Middle East also appeared to be gathering momentum going into the fourth quarter, air freight volumes in October at all major hubs reported substantial gains: Dubai (DXB) +9.5%, Doha (DOH) +21.5%, and Abu Dhabi (AUH) +6.7%.

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

Top 3 airports by size category2
Passenger Freight
> 40M 25M to 40M 15M to 25M 5M to 15M
Beijing (PEK) +5.1% Xi’an (XIY) +15.1% Seoul Gimpo (GMP) +3.7% Calcutta (CCU) +37.7% Hong Kong (HKG)
+7.1%
Tokyo Haneda (HND) +5.7% Tokyo Narita (NRT) +4.5% Kansai (KIX)
+5.0%
Osaka Itami (ITM) +2.2% Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.3%
Dubai (DXB)
+2.7%
Manila (MNL) +3.8% Brisbane (BNE) +0.6% Busan (PUS)
+9.6%
Seoul Incheon (ICN) +10.6%

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