Passenger Traffic Posts Solid Gains as Air Freight is Revived in October

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Montréal, 9 December 2013 – Airports Council International announced traffic results showing that global passenger traffic continued along its growth path for the month of October increasing by 4.9% from the previous year. With global passenger growth in the realm of 3% year-over-year for the last twelve months, October represented a banner month for passenger traffic as airports in advanced economies bounced back with strong gains heading into the third quarter of 2013.
Since global commerce was very sluggish for most of 2013, the gains in air freight signal a marked improvement in certain markets. The world’s airports reported an overall year-over-year gain of 4.1% in air freight traffic for the month of October. The rise in air freight volumes is consistent with the recent improvements in international trade volumes and overall business confidence.

Regional Markets: Passengers
North America:

While growth in North America remains at relatively modest levels, passenger traffic posted a gain of 2.8% for month of October. This represents an above average month for North America since year-over-year growth for the last twelve months was in the vicinity of 1%. As compared to other major airports in the region, Los Angeles (LAX) continues to achieve impressive passenger increases as it recorded over 6% for the month of October.

Regional Markets: Air Freight
North America:

Of all regions, North America posted the strongest gains in air freight volumes for the month of October. Traffic grew by 5.1% for the region. Considering that growth in traffic was almost flat for most of 2013, the surge in volumes for the month of October points to a considerable improvement. Three of North America’s leading air freight hubs all reported robust increases in freight volumes for the month of October. Memphis (MEM), home of FedEx and the world’s second busiest air freight airport, showed a significant increase of 7.6%. Anchorage (ANC) and Louisville (SDF) increased by 5.7% and 6.5% respectively.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “Macroeconomic indicators point to a continuing recovery in the Euro area and the United States, which are interlinked with the aviation sector. While there is a revived sense of optimism based on the latest traffic figures, it is still early to adopt the view that we are completely out of the woods. Nevertheless, key emerging aviation markets such as Dubai, Istanbul and Sao Paulo continue to post strong gains in passenger traffic in spite of the downside risks. For the month of October, only three out of the top 30 airports reported having a decline in year-over-year passenger traffic.”