Global passenger traffic posts modest growth of 1.5% in January
Overall passenger traffic grew by +1.5 percent for the month of January. Continental Europe suffered a decline of -1.3 percent in passenger traffic, which brought down the overall global growth. However, the airports of Istanbul (IST) and Moscow (DME) continue to post phenomenal gains irrespective of their neighbouring markets. Each airport posted double digit gains of +18.7 and +13.3 percent respectively. Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Dubai (DXB) also showed no sign of slowing down with passenger traffic growth of +19.6 and +14.6 percent respectively.
Growth in air freight were marked by relatively high growth rates as compared to the monthly trend. Year over year growth for January was at +7.4 percent. Yet, the high growth rate in freight traffic is distorted as a result of the Chinese New Year in January 2012, which significantly depressed overall demand during the holiday season. After adjusting for this seasonality affect, growth is estimated to be in the realm of +3 percent, which is more in line with the growth rates of previous months. Although air freight volumes stagnated for most of 2012, traffic in freight is expected to gain momentum with the general rise in business confidence. According to The Economist and the Financial times Global Business Barometer, which surveys over 1500 executives on a quarterly basis, overall results of the survey point to expectations that future business conditions will improve. Especially important, executives in transport and tourism reported being the most upbeat as compared to other industries.
ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “While the euro crises, America’s fiscal cliff as well as other market risks continue to be obstacles for the air transport industry, the revival of business confidence represents an important step forward, particularly as it relates to freight traffic. As businesses begin to build up their inventories and shipments based on stronger expected demand, we are likely to see air freight traffic in positive territory more consistently from month to month over the next quarter. While Europe has experienced an overall contraction in passenger traffic, key emerging air transport markets in the Middle East, Latin America-Caribbean, Asia-Pacific as well as Eastern Europe and Turkey that serve a substantial critical mass of traffic maintained their resilience in face of the downside risks.”
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