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World’s airports report 'excellent' traffic results in Sep-2010

Global airport passenger traffic registered “excellent results” for Sep-2010 according to Airports Council International (ACI) which stated the month's traffic was the best monthly result so far in 2010.

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

Airports reported a 9% growth in traffic bringing total global traffic growth for the first nine months of the year to 6.5%. Performance was strong in all regions led by the Middle East (+20%) followed by Latin America/Caribbean (+15.5%). The growth in Sep-2010 occurred following total growth of 1.6% in Sep-2009 with domestic growth of 4.4% although international traffic growth was still in negative territory, declining 1.1% in Sep-2010.

IATA traffic results: Sep-2009 vs Sep-2010 growth levels

 

Sep-2010

Nine months to Sep-2010

12 months to Sep-2010

International passenger

+10.3%

+7.5%

+6.3%

Domestic passenger

+7.7%

+5.6%

+5.5%

Total passenger

+9.0%

+6.5%

+5.9%

International freight

+14.1%

+26.7%

+23.2%

Domestic freight

+4.9%

+10.0%

+9.7%

Total freight

+11.5%

+20.9%

+18.4%

Large hubs lead positive results

The large international hubs were at the forefront of positive results. London Heathrow (+7.5%), Frankfurt (+10.5%), Hong Kong (+17%), Dubai (+25%), Shanghai Pudong (+36%), Munich (+11%), Singapore (+11%), Incheon (+22%), Sao Paulo (+28.5%) and Moscow Sheremetyevo (+32%) contributed to booming international travel driven by a strong return of business travel to the market and demand for long-haul travel. The figures also largely reflect the economic growth numbers reported by Brazil, China and Germany generating strong business activity and consumer confidence in emerging and export-oriented markets.

International traffic outperforms domestic

Once again international traffic (+10.5%) outperformed domestic traffic (+7.5%) with the divergence being particularly pronounced in North America where international passengers (+7.5%) grew more than double over domestic (+3.6%).

The 12-month rolling results jumped to 6% raising hopes that 2010 might finish with worldwide growth of more than 5%. The third quarter was clearly the strongest quarter in 2010 with growth of 7.5% overall driven again by international traffic (+8.5% compared with 6% domestic growth). 

Sep-2010 traffic in Africa and the Middle East benefited from the earlier Ramadan (in Aug-2010) and had robust increases of 14% and 20% in international traffic, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, growth in Europe (+7.5%) and North America (+7.6%) remained in the single digits for the month, while growth in Asia Pacific (+15.7%) and Latin America (+13.9%) increased by double digits. Latin America witnessed the strongest domestic growth (+15.5%) while Middle East (+19.9%) was the overall fastest growing market (domestic and international).

Middle East international passenger numbers growth: Sep-2009 to Sep-2010

Slowing growth in freight sector; Asia Pacific largest market

The trend of slowing growth in the freight sector continued in Sep-2010 with overall tonnage increasing 11.5%, significantly down from its peak of +28% in May-2010. On a quarterly basis freight grew by 15% in the third quarter contrasting quite strongly with growth of 24% in the first two quarters. The slowdown is slightly more pronounced in the domestic sector which only grew by a comparatively low percentage whereas international freight increased by 14%.

The fastest growing international freight market was North America (+19.0%), followed by Europe (+17.2%) and Latin America (+16.7%) although Asia Pacific was by far the largest freight market with 46% of the world’s international freight. Latin America (+13.8%) and Africa (+10.4%) were the fastest growing domestic markets although North America was the largest domestic freight market with 60% of the total market. Overall, Asia Pacific had a 40% capacity share of the total freight market at 2307.5 tonnes in the month, followed by North America (1649.9 tonnes). 

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

General trend shows growth slowing

Like ACI, IATA has reported that almost inevitably the annual comparisons are becoming less favourable. However while passenger traffic in Sep-2010 increased 10.5% year-on-year and was 4% higher than the pre-recession peak of early 2008, cargo volumes have slipped back to pre-recession peak levels as growth slowed to 14.8% in the month. 

Looking forward and ACI stated the current results have “raised hopes that 2010 might finish with worldwide growth of over 5%”.

International Passenger and Freight Tonne Kilometers: Jul-2005 to Sep-2010