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World’s airports report robust traffic results in Oct-2010; on track for full-year growth of 6%

17-Dec-2010
ACI Director of Economics, Andreas Schimm
ACI Director of Economics, Andreas Schimm

Global airport passenger traffic was “very robust” in Oct-2010 according to Airports Council International (ACI), which added that passenger demand grew markedly in the month. Full-year growth is expected to hold above 6%, an “excellent” result following a 2% slump in 2009.

ACI World traffic results: Oct-2009 vs Oct-2010 growth levels

 

Oct-2010

Ten months to Oct-2010

12 months to Oct-2010

International passengers

+9.9%

+7.6%

+7.1%

Domestic passengers

+6.1%

+5.4%

+5.5%

Total passengers

+7.7%

+6.4%

+6.2%

International freight

+12.0%

+25.1%

+24.4%

Domestic freight

+3.9%

+9.3%

+9.7%

Total freight

+9.6%

+19.5%

+19.0%

Looking at the regional results, ACI noted that it is “striking” that “growth curves are converging. Growth in North America and Europe is accelerating whereas it has been slowing down in Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America-Caribbean regions”.

ACI World Economics Director Andreas Schimm continued: “This narrowing of the significant spreads seen over the past 12 months is particularly visible in international traffic results. This month we see a mere 4 percentage points between North America (8.7) and Asia Pacific (12.5) and this performance contributes to a continuation of the strong double digit international growth we have seen throughout the year.”

ACI world traffic results by region: Oct-2009 vs Oct-2010 growth levels

 

Oct-2010

Total passenger traffic

+7.7%

World domestic

+6.1%

World international

+9.9%

     Africa

+9.5%

     Asia Pacific

+9.7%

     Europe

+8.3%

     Latin America and the Caribbean

+7.7%

     Middle East

+9.7%

     North America

+5.0%

Total freight

+9.6%

World domestic

+3.9%

World international

+12.0%

     Africa

+10.0%

     Asia Pacific

+10.7%

     Europe

+16.2%

     Latin America and the Caribbean

-1.6%

     Middle East

+4.2%

     North America

+6.2%

Solid 8% increase in traffic in Oct-2010

Airports witnessed a solid 7.7% increase in traffic in Oct-2010 with international traffic growing by a “robust” 9.9% while domestic traffic increased by 6.1%. Comparatively, Overall traffic in Oct-2009 increased 1.8% with international traffic down 0.2% and domestic traffic increasing 1.8%. For the 10 months to Oct-2010, world traffic increased by 6.4% - international traffic increased by 7.6% outpacing a 5.6% growth in domestic traffic.

ACI total passenger number growth: Oct-2009 to Oct-2010

Growth remains weak or negative in some key markets

Growth however remains weak or negative in some key markets such as Japan, UK and Mexico as well as at some US airports, but they are out-performing the previous lows. Russia, South Korea, Argentina and Brazil spearhead Oct-2010 results, while Shanghai continues to outperform other Chinese airports driven by the World Expo. A number of Spanish airports have also reported very solid double-digit growth defying the flat national economy.

Meanwhile, ACI Europe Director General, Olivier Jankovec, in a separate release commented that recovery in Europe “remains fragile with significant disparities between national market. There is still much ground to be regained before Europe’s airports return to pre-crisis volumes of passenger traffic”. However, he noted: “It is reassuring to see that European air traffic continues to recover. September saw the strongest growth in passenger traffic registered so far this year, as well as airlines substantially increasing capacity for the first time, since the start of the crisis.”

ACI Europe also criticised the “recent taxation frenzy targeting air passengers” in Germany, Austria and UK, adding that it “defies economic logic”. Mr Jankovec continued: “These are ill-advised decisions, which are at odds with the role that aviation and airports in particular play as engines of economic growth. They are also short-sighted given the structural shift underway in the global aviation market to the benefit of Asia and Latin America. Adding new taxes will damage the competitive position of the European aviation industry – an impact expressly denounced by the Declaration of Bruges resulting from the Aviation Summit organised just last week by the Belgian Presidency of the EU.”

ACI world traffic results by region: Oct-2009 vs Oct-2010 growth levels

 Region

Traffic growth 

Growth

Reductions

Africa

Strong passenger growth was reported in popular tourist destinations, with international traffic up by 10.7%

Positive results include Cairo (8.8%), Casablanca (12%), Hurghada (13%), Johannesburg (7.6%), Saint Denis (14.9%), Sharm El Sheikh (15.1%) and Tunis (15.5%). Good results were registered at several smaller airports across the region including Abidjan (6.8%), Antananarivo (18.5%), Dar Es Salaam (7.5%) and Luxor (10.6%).

 

Asia Pacific

Across the region, international traffic grew by 12.5% and domestic by 8.6% leading all regions in both categories

Global traffic leaders were Incheon (26.3%) and Shanghai (28.9%), followed by strong results in other key destinations including Hong Kong (11.9%), Manila (17.1%), Singapore (7.9%), Taipei (14%). Kuala Lumpur’s international traffic grew by 17.2%, Jakarta rose by 9.7%. Indian airports Hyderabad (13.8%) and Madras (14.7%) led results, followed by New Delhi (7.4%) and Mumbai (4.3%).

Kuala Lumpur’s dropped by 1.8%. Japanese airport traffic growth lagged behind the regional boom, with Narita showing a modest 1.8% increase and Haneda reporting a 1.9% decline.

Europe

Regional increase in international traffic of 9% as well as almost 6% increase in domestic travel

Most of the largest hubs saw solid growth – Amsterdam (8.2%), Frankfurt (8.5%), London Heathrow (7.2%), Madrid (5.4%), Paris (3.8%), Munich (9.1%), and Rome (11.5%). Double-digit growth was reported by several airports with more than 1 million passengers including Antalya (26.6%), Barcelona (18.1%), Berlin (11.6%), Copenhagen (13.4%), Düsseldorf (11%), Lisbon (11.6%), Milan (11%), Moscow DME (15.7%), Moscow SVO (31.5%), Stockholm (11.4%) and Vienna (11.4%).

 

Latin America & Caribbean

Overall results for the region profited from continued strong growth in international traffic of 11.7%.

Key airports in the region report good results: Brasilia (4.8%), Cancun (10.7%), Lima (24.6%), Quito (8.9%), and both of Sao Paolo’s airports (CGH 3.3% and GRU 16%). Booming domestic traffic (43%) was a key contributor at Lima. International traffic was the driver at Sao Paulo GRU (19.3 %), in Cancun (12 %) and in Buenos Aires EZE (6.9%).

At Rio de Janeiro, despite strong international growth (27.8%), a notable drop in domestic traffic gave a negative total result of -3.3%. In Mexico City a 6.5% drop in international, despite a 1.5% increase in domestic, gave a total negative result of -1.2%.

Middle East

Traffic growth in the region is still robust at 9.1% for international traffic

Strong performance at several airports including Abu Dhabi (13.3%), Dubai (14.8%), Muscat (23.1%), and Tel Aviv (6%).

Kuwait saw a loss of international traffic (-4.8%) as did Bahrain (-5.8%).

North America

In the US and Canada, international traffic grew by 8.7% and domestic traffic by 4.4%

All the largest airports in the sample (over 3 million passengers) report positive traffic growth for October: Atlanta (3.8%), Chicago ORD (5.6%), Dallas/Fort Worth (4.2%), Houston (3.5%), Las Vegas (2%), Los Angeles (4.8%), New York JFK (5.6%), and San Francisco (7.4%), which boosts results for the year to date averages as well. Excellent results were reported by Boston (11%), Detroit (10.6%), Fort Lauderdale (10.7%) and Minneapolis (10%), Salt Lake City (8.7%) and Toronto (8.2%).

Small declines were reported by Cleveland, Edmonton, Newark, Oakland, San Diego, and Winnipeg.

Slowing freight growth of 10% off positive base

The international freight traffic growth trend continues, but at a weaker pace in Oct-2010. Total freight increased 9.6% year-on-year with international freight increasing 12% and domestic freight up 3.9%. 

ACI total cargo volume growth: Oct-2009 to Oct-2010

For freight traffic, ACI noted that the 9.6% increase remains a positive sign. Oct-2010 was the first month in 2010 allowing a comparison of worldwide traffic growth to a growth period in 2009. Freight traffic increased 1.3% in Oct-2009.

However, Mr Schimm noted: “Double-digit growth rates are not sustainable over the long run, of course, but it seems that growth can continue in a range between 5-10% in the foreseeable future.” He continued: “As with passenger traffic, a narrowing spread of growth figures indicates consolidation on a healthy level and underpins a positive outlook for the world economy for the next 6 months.”

The two largest international airfreight markets Asia Pacific and Europe recorded solid increases of 12.4% and 15.8% year-on-year respectively for and for the 10-month year-to-date period an increase of 27.5% for Asia Pacific and 23% for Europe. Only the Latin America – Caribbean region recorded a decline in October (-1.06%).

Pax growth of 6% in 2010; freight to moderate to 5-10% range  

Like IATA, ACI has noted that, inevitably, annual comparisons are becoming less favourable, with growth likely to moderate in the coming months and in 2011. For 2010, ACI has upgraded its forecast for full-year growth of above 6%. ACI previously forecast growth of above 5%. Meanwhile, freight growth is likely to moderate to growth of 5-10% in the foreseeable future. 

ACI concluded: “It seems the industry is moving into the post-recovery phase with less peak growth but a broader base of growing markets underpinned by stronger demand across all regions particularly in international traffic which bodes well for the rest of the year and supports a positive outlook for 2011.”


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