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Surge in freight volumes moderates in September; global passenger traffic continues to rise in spite of gulf coast hurricanes and blockade in Qatar

December 2, 2017 Cargo & Freight No Comments Email Email
The global surge affecting freight volumes receded in September 2017, with year over year figures falling to 6.8%, down from 10.5% in August of the same year.

Passenger traffic also slowed down slightly, dropping 1.6 percentage points from August to 5.1%. Following a particularly good summer period, year to date numbers for both markets remained high, at 8.4% and 6.5% respectively.

Passenger traffic:

Europe’s sustained growth in passenger traffic continued through the third quarter of 2017, seemingly unaffected by the geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. The region’s year over year growth reached 8.9% in September, nearly double the global rate and closely tracking its 9.3% year to date growth. Asia-Pacific and Africa also benefitted from robust numbers, reaching 7.3% and 6.6% respectively on a year over year basis. Latin America-Caribbean achieved moderate growth of 3.2%.The Middle East and North America trailed behind, with declines of 0.8% and 1.5% respectively.

Airports in the Caribbean region and North America were affected by the year’s particularly violent hurricane season, with airports located in Puerto Rico (SJU) and Miami (MIA) posting significant declines (-34.4% and -21.9% respectively) on a year over year basis. September year to date figures for both Latin America-Caribbean and North America remained positive, though lower than other regions, with respective 4.5% and 3.1% growth rates.

The continuing blockade against Qatar also had a considerable impact in September, with Doha (DOH) passenger traffic declining by 18.3% on a year over year basis, more than 5 percentage points lower than August. The September decline pushed the airport’s year to date figures to negative territory, reaching -1.6%.

Freight volumes:

Most regions posted robust freight volume figures in September, despite a slowdown from the previous month’s double-digit growth. Africa led the group with a growth rate of 16.2% on a year over year basis. Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East also posted considerable increases, with 9.4%, 8%, and 7.3% growth rates respectively.

North America and Latin America-Caribbean’s freight markets weathered the hurricane season better than their passenger markets, although growth was more subdued. Both regions’ year over year growth rates reached 2.9% and 1.6% respectively, down from 10.1% and 9.1% in August. The resulting year to date figures stood at 4.6% and 6.5% respectively, suggesting that end of year results should remain robust.

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