Press Releases

Global Passenger Traffic Continues to Post Modest Gains at 1.8% Year-Over-Year in February

MONTRÉAL, 10 April 2013 – Most of the aggregate level growth in passenger traffic for the month of February came from Asian airports. Both Hong Kong (HKG) and Beijing (PEK) reported robust growth rates of +15 and +7.3% respectively.

However HKG and PEK, in addition to many other Asian airports, witnessed a significant air freight decline in February 2013 compared with February 2012.

The seasonal factor of Chinese New Year taking place in February 2013, as compared with January 2012, is responsible for distorted February year-over-year freight results. During Chinese New Year, many businesses across Asia close. This factor, coupled with a high concentration of international air freight among Asia-Pacific airports has resulted in a 6.3% year-over-year decrease in total air freight and an 11.8% decrease in Asia-Pacific air freight.

Of all regions, only the Middle East posted gains in both passenger and freight traffic. Total passenger and air freight traffic grew by +9% year-over-year in Middle Eastern airports. Dubai (DXB), the region’s key hub, experienced double-digit growth in passenger and freight traffic at +11.4 and +15.9% respectively.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “With the significant slowdown in domestic passenger traffic across European and North American markets, the source of much of the growth hinges on the international traveller. For the most part, international travel remains unaffected, particularly with respect to international traffic across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. The continued growth trend through 2012 and into 2013 is evidence of this phenomenon in the face of on-going economic uncertainties. Year-over-year growth in these regions was over +10% in February. Overall, February is a difficult month to gage given that seasonality factors make their way into the data. Both The Chinese New Year and the 2012 Leap Year effect had negative repercussions on freight volumes.”

Table 1: Summary Worldwide Traffic Results, February 2013 (% change)
February 2013 Over February 2012 Year to Date 2013 12-Month Rolling Year
International Passenger 4.2 3.7 4.9
Domestic Passenger (0.0) 0.1 1.7
Total Passenger 1.8 1.7 3.2
International Freight (6.3) (0.7) (0.8)
Domestic Freight (6.3) 3.3 0.8
Total Freight (6.3) 0.6 (0.0)
Full Press Release with Extra Tables (PDF)

Notes for editors

1.  Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 573 member airport authorities, which operate over 1,751 airports in 174 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 following pages.

4. Media Contacts

Cheryl Marcell
Director, Communications and Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1224
James Roach
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1226