Press Releases

Passenger Traffic Slows to 2.3% growth in October as Air Freight Stagnates

Montréal, 11 December 2012 – Global passenger traffic showed only modest gains for the month of October. While emerging markets in Asia-Pacific, Latin America-Caribbean and the Middle East all posted gains of over +5%, the economic slowdown in North American and European markets resulted in almost no change in year-over-year passenger traffic. Adding to this fact, many major North American airports along the eastern seaboard were temporarily crippled by Hurricane Sandy. Miami (MIA), New York (JFK) and Newark (EWR) all faced declines of -3.2, -3.8 and -8.3% respectively, which was attributable mainly to the hurricane. On the other hand, a few key international airports in emerging markets continue to have buoyant traffic increases helping to maintain a global growth trend in positive territory. Singapore (SIN), Istanbul (IST) and Jakarta (CGK) continue to experience double-digit growth rates.
According to the World Trade Organization, the expansion of world trade will slow to 2.5% in 2012 as a result of slowing global output, which is down from 5.0% in 2011. With an overall slowdown in the movement of goods across borders, international air freight has contracted by -1.2%, while total freight remains flat. Several major international freight hubs experienced sharp declines in air freight traffic. Major hub airports such as Incheon (ICN), Paris (CDG) and Anchorage (ANC) observed year-over-year declines of -1.9, -5.0 and -13.1% respectively. Conversely, the volume of domestic freight traffic, has increased by +1.8% in the month of October.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “As we approach the end of 2012, global air freight traffic is expected to be flat as compared to 2011. Order shipments of high value added goods, which make up a large component of the volume of international air freight, have been curtailed in tandem with the slowdown in international trade. While passenger traffic shows signs of deceleration, this is in line with ACI expectations for the year. That being said, Hurricane Sandy has impacted the overall growth trends for the month of October. Regardless, it’s impressive to see the overall global resilience of passenger traffic in spite of the Eurozone crises, fiscal cliffs and other economic uncertainties among which airports operate.”

October 2012
Over October 2011
Year to date
 rolling year
International passenger
Domestic passenger
Total passenger
International freight
Domestic freight
Total freight

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Notes for editors

1. Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 580 member airport authorities, which operate over 1,650 airports in 179 countries. ACI’s mission is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations, and this mandate is carried out through the organization’s multiple training opportunities, as well as the customer service benchmarking programme, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.

2. PaxFlash and FreightFlash statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 60% of total passenger traffic and 70% of total freight traffic worldwide. Commentary, tables and charts are based on preliminary data submitted by participating airports and are therefore subject to change.

3. Regional results and trend graphics are provided on the:full downloadable document.

4. For further information, contact Cheryl