April 2019: Passengers down -1.0% in Asia-Pacific and up 3.3% in Middle East
Passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific recorded a slight decline in April at -1.0% and moderate growth of +3.3% in the Middle East.
In China, passenger traffic grew marginally this month despite solid international demands. A number of negative factors were at play: partial runway maintenance closures at Beijing (PEK) and significant flight cancellations at many airports in southern and eastern China due to adverse weather conditions. Mixed results were observed among major airports in the country: Beijing (PEK) -5.9%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) -0.2% and Guangzhou (CAN) +0.2%.
In India, passenger traffic continued to trend downward this month especially in the domestic sector. Overall passenger traffic was adversely affected by the service suspension of a major airline and the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX. These developments severely impacted the results in New Delhi (DEL) -15.3% and Mumbai (BOM) -19.9%. Nevertheless, other large airports still managed to report positive results: Bangalore (BLR) +3.6% and Hyderabad (HYD) +3.8%.
Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, a number of airports likely benefited from vacation travels during Easter and the extended Golden Week in Japan and enjoyed solid growth: Tokyo Narita (NRT) +3.1%, Osaka Kansai (KIX) +7.7%, Seoul Incheon (ICN) +5.5% and Taipei Taoyuan (TPE) +5.6%
In the Middle East, overall passenger traffic grew +3.3% despite Dubai (DXB), the largest hub in the region, declined -11.1% this month as one of the two runways was closed for refurbishment since mid-April. Airports with high passenger volume increase from last year included: Doha (DOH) +21.9%, Jeddah (JED) +8.6% and Sharjah (SHJ) +23.5%.
In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East declined at -7.0% and -4.3% respectively amid the ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States, and uncertain global economic conditions. Despite most of the major air freight hubs reported negative growth in April, the following airports delivered positive gain from last year: Guangzhou (CAN) +3.9%, Shenzhen (SZX) +2.6% and Delhi (DEL) +0.4%.
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