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Robust passenger traffic growth; freight volumes reach 3-month peak with double-digit growth

November 4, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Global passenger traffic increased 6.7% in August and 6.8% year to date. Global freight reached a 3-month peak during August, with a 10.5% global increase, bringing the year to date growth to 8.7%.

 Passenger traffic

Africa and Europe led passenger traffic growth for August at 9.6% and 8.9% respectively on a year over year basis.

Africa’s growth rate has accelerated since May, signaling that the region’s negative drag on traffic may be subsiding. Commodity prices have recovered since January 2017, translating into a positive outlook for the region.Although most African economies recorded passenger traffic growth during the month, northern and northeastern African countries posted particularly high figures. Of the region’s largest aviation markets, Egypt (+20.1%), Morocco (+14.2%) and Tunisia (+12.1%) recorded the highest growth rates. Nigeria, which emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017, grew 8.2% in August—potentially marking a turning point for the country’s embattled passenger market.

Europe’s domestic passenger traffic slowed, posting growth of 5.9% (down from 8.4% in July). This is a return to the long-term trend as growth in Europe is driven primarily by the international segment. The latter grew at 10.1% in August, down from 10.5% in July. Although the region’s advanced economies recorded strong growth in recent months, eastern and south-eastern Europe have contributed increasing shares to the region’s total growth. Turkey and the Russian Federation, growing at 18% and 15.6% respectively, both continued to recover from a difficult period during 2016 and early 2017, boosting the region’s numbers.

At the airport level, Antalya Airport (AYT) posted a record-level growth rate of 55.3% for the month. In Africa, Cairo (CAI), which experienced a particularly difficult period between May and July, finally returned to positive growth with 6.6% growth on a year over year basis.

Freight volumes

The same general pattern observed in July continued in August for most regions, with global year to date freight volumes reaching 8.7%. North America and Latin America-Caribbean, which lagged behind in July, rallied to the global growth trend and reached 10.1% and 9.1% growth. Here again, Africa recorded particularly high numbers, reaching 21.6% and boosting its year to date figure to 14.7%.

At the country level, Kenya was a significant contributor with a 66.7% increase in freight. Although Nigeria experienced an improvement in passenger traffic, its freight volumes declined by 6.4% as compared to the previous year.

Nairobi (NBO), Kenya’s main airport, recorded a 75.5% year over year increase in freight volumes. Having been in negative territory for several months in the last year, the airport was able to recover its freight traffic and surpass previous volumes.

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