Asian air freight recovery? Shenzhen Airport reports April traffic – Share Wrap

Everyone is looking for the start of the recovery in Asian air freight volumes (a key indicator of the health of the underlying global economy). Shenzhen Airport, serving key manufacturing zones in the important Pearl River Delta in China’s Guangdong Province, reported a slight improvement in cargo throughput last month compared to March, but volumes are still down 8.4% year-on-year. Figures from HACTL and Hong Kong Airport, due out shortly, will shed further light on progress.

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Shenzhen Airport passenger number growth and cargo volume growth: May-08 to Apr-09

Investors liked Shenzhen’s April numbers (including a 10.1% increase in passenger numbers), sending the airport operator’s shares up 5.8% on Friday. The airport recently reported its expansion project is progressing well, with 50% of pavement construction for the second runway scheduled of completion by the end of this year. The new Terminal 3 design has been completed and the facility is expected to commence operations in Jul-2011, lifting overall airport capacity to 60 million passengers and 3 million tonnes of cargo p/a.

Elsewhere, Turkey’s TAV Airports shares climbed 8% in the afterglow of Turkish Airlines’ order for five B777s, while Mexico’s ASUR fell 6.3% on a disappointing traffic report for April (passenger numbers down 2.1%) and the prospect of further falls as a result of the swine flu outbreak.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 08-May-09