Press Releases

Moderate Increase in Passenger Traffic as Air Freight Posts Gain for Second Month in a Row for November

Montréal, 10 January 2014 – The world’s airports reported an overall passenger growth of 3.1% in November driven mainly by international traffic, which saw an increase of 4%, while domestic traffic grew modestly by 2.2%. Latin America-Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East all experienced robust year-over-year growth of 8.9%, 6.1% and 6.1% respectively. Europe experienced growth of 3.3%. On the other hand, both North America and Africa were in decline for the month of November contracting by 0.9% and 8.4% respectively. Among the world’s major airports, Dubai (DXB) reported the highest year-over-year growth in passenger traffic at 9.5%, which placed it fifth overall in total passenger numbers for the month of November.

Growth in air freight stayed in positive territory for the second month in a row posting gains of 3.4% in November. This comes after a sluggish year for most of 2013 with growth almost flat over the last twelve months. The growth in freight traffic is primarily fuelled by the international market, which was up by 5.4% in November, while domestic markets remain weak (-1%). Dubai (DXB) and Hong Kong (HKG), which are key international freight hubs, posted high growth of 11.6% and 6.6%. Conversely, airports serving a large domestic market did not fare as well. Memphis (MEM) domestic traffic was flat as compared to November 2012 while Louisville (SDF) and Beijing (PEK) declined by 4.1% and 1.7% in November.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “The airport that really stands out for the month of November and for the year as a whole is Dubai (DXB). With double digit growth rates in 2013 in passenger traffic, Dubai is likely to move up three positions to become the seventh busiest airport in the world in 2013. Emerging markets such as Turkey, China and South East Asia that have a critical mass of traffic remain the major contributors to the upward surge in air transport demand.

With business confidence rising and the future economic outlook in the United States improving, we are likely to see a resurgence in air freight volumes as compared to the last 24 months. That being said, the high price of fuel coupled with excess aircraft belly capacity remains an overall impediment to air freight growth unless aviation markets evolve to adjust to these challenges. Moreover, there seems to be a fundamental shift in world trade and the model that governs the air freight market.”

Regional results and trend graphics are provided in pdf version of this media release.

November 2013 over November 2012 Year to Date 2013 12-Month Rolling Year
International Passenger 4.0 5.0 4.8
Domestic Passenger 2.2 2.3 2.2
Total Passenger 3.1 3.6 3.5
International Freight 5.4 0.6 0.5
Domestic Freight -1.0 1.0 0.5
Total Freight 3.4 0.7 0.5

Notes for Editors

Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 592 member airport authorities, which operate over 1,847 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 program, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.

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.

Regional results and trend graphics are provided in the pdf version of this media release.

Media Contact

Martine Ohayon
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Telephone: +1 514 373 1224