Passenger traffic posts moderate growth as air freight moves into positive territory in November

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Montréal, Québec (Canada), 10 January 2013 – Global passenger traffic continued along the growth path for the month of November increasing by +3.2% from the previous year. A major contributor to the on-going growth was the international passenger market with gains of +6% whereas domestic traffic experienced only a +1.1% gain. With the perpetual concerns regarding the Eurozone, domestic traffic has been stifled with a contraction of -5.5% in Europe. Moreover, although growth prospects are relatively limited in North America since the region is already working at capacity, the fiscal cliff is not alleviating the standstill with respect to year over year growth. Conversely, international passenger markets in Asia-Pacific showed robust growth at +11.5%. More specifically, the growth velocity stems from airports based in South-East Asia. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Singapore (SIN) each reported double digit gains of +13.1% and +12.2% respectively for the month of November. Although Bangkok experienced growth of +20.6%, it should be noted that traffic was significantly curtailed in November 2010 due to the destructive floods affecting the region.

Air freight markets posted stronger gains relative to previous months at +1.8%, due in part mainly to a recovery in shipments through the holiday season. This revival is mainly reflected in the North American context where the air freight volume increased by +3.5%. Africa, Latin America-Caribbean and Europe each saw declines of -4.6%, -1.7% and -0.9% respectively.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “Though air freight markets posted an overall net gain for the month of November, the results are mixed across regions with overall flat growth in freight volume throughout 2012 as compared to the previous year. Irrespective of the general rise in business confidence, it is still too early to project sustained growth based on the present conditions and risks. While we also see domestic passenger markets in retreat due in part by the economic uncertainty pervading across Europe and North America, international travel remains relatively buoyant and unencumbered with gains of almost +6% for the year as a whole. This provides some reassurance in the resilience of the industry as a whole since international traffic contains more than 40% of global passenger market.”