Robust Gains in Passenger Traffic as Air Freight Maintains Momentum in April

Montréal, 10 June 2014 – Global passenger traffic grew by 6.7% for the month of April. International travel contributed the overall upward surge in passenger traffic with an increase of 9% for the month. Domestic passenger markets moved up by 4.8%.

While all regions across the board experienced gains in passenger traffic, the Middle East continues to stand out as it propels forward with stellar double-digit growth. Passenger traffic grew by 14.7% in April. Several of the region's airports serve as major connecting hubs—Dubai (DXB), Doha (DOH) and Abu Dhabi (AUH) are among the fastest growing airports in the world, posting gains of 13.7%, 17.5% and 22.5% respectively. On a year-to-date basis, Dubai (DXB) is ranked 3rd in terms of passenger traffic, almost reaching the 25-million-passenger mark within the first four months of 2014.

International passenger traffic was also strong in Europe, with gains of over 9% as compared to the previous year. London-Heathrow (LHR), Paris (CDG) and Istanbul (IST) led traffic for the region in April with growth of 6.4%, 7.9% and 9.9% respectively.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the huge domestic markets of Latin America and the Caribbean continue to burgeon. Sao Paulo (GRU), Mexico (MEX) and Cancun (CUN) saw their domestic traffic increase significantly by 16%, 12.4% and 10.7% respectively.

Air freight markets continue to gain steam with the overall improvements in world trade and recovery in global demand. Except for Africa, all regions experienced growth in year-over-year air freight volumes. The two largest global air freight markets, North America and Asia-Pacific, continue to lead the air freight recovery since both regions attained growth levels of over 5%. The key freight hubs of Shanghai (PVG), Memphis (MEM) and Hong Kong (HKG) experienced strong gains of 10.6%, 9.3% and 6%.

"While there is a definite Easter effect contributing to a strong April in terms of passengers carried, even after adjusting for this effect, air transport demand continues to stay on its growth path," said ACI World's Economics Director Rafael Echevarne.

"Looking back over the previous twelve months as a barometer for success, as many as 27 of the top 30 airports in the world have achieved gains in traffic from May 2013 to April 2014. Major airport hubs in emerging markets such as Dubai, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Sao Paulo continue to experience double-digit growth."

"Air freight has also seen a strong turnaround since 2013. Year-over-year growth has remained in the realm of 4% over the previous six months. While there are signs of a Chinese slowdown on several fronts, the rise in global demand has boosted Chinese exports. Some key hubs in the region continue to perform well with respect to air freight volumes as compared to previous years."
 

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