Global passenger traffic increased 5.5% in 2005 year-on-year, according to preliminary data from Airports Council International (ACI). International passenger traffic growth consistently exceeded domestic, rising by 6.7%, while domestic grew by 4.5% for the year.
Asia Pacific and Middle East airports outperformed the global average, reporting 7.9% and 13.0% growth in international traffic respectively while domestic markets rose 6.4% and 7.4% respectively. Overall, the Asia Pacific and Middle East reported 7.0% and 12.1% growth in total passenger traffic.
According to ACI, concerns over the threat of avian flu and terrorism and higher fuel costs “did not seem to dampen passenger demand excessively”. However, fourth quarter results were the lowest for the year reflecting the “stubbornly high” cost of fuel.
World passenger trends 2005 - % change year-on-year
Source: ACI & Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation
But the airport body did not disclose traffic forecasts for 2006. In mid-05, ACI predicted over 7.4 billion passengers will travel by air in 2020 (up from 2.3 billion in 2005), with traffic expected to grow by over 4% p/a through 2020. A repeat of 2005’s outperformance of long-term average growth rates this year will depend mostly on fuel prices and its impact on the global economy.
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