Press Releases

Solid start to the year for passenger traffic as air freight continues resurgence

Montréal, 10 March 2014 – Global passenger traffic started the year strong with year-over-year growth of over 6.4% for the month of January. This comes after a rise of 4% in passenger traffic for 2013 as a whole. Most of the buoyant activity in passenger traffic stems from double-digit growth rates of over 10% in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. International travel continues to post robust growth with an increase of 7.8% whereas domestic traffic increased by 5.1% for the month of January.

Air freight volumes maintain momentum for the fourth month in a row. Overall volumes increased by 2.8% in January. Most of the rise in air freight activity originates from improvements in the international freight markets as a result of growing business confidence and improvements in international trade. Thus, the recent rise in air freight volumes signals a potential revival. The major international freight hubs of Hong Kong (HKG), Dubai (DXB) and Incheon (ICN) all posted gains of 5.3%, 4.5% and 8% respectively in international freight traffic.

“While there is an improvement in global economic conditions on several fronts, there is still a sense that we have not completely weathered the storm. Although we see relatively strong growth in international freight markets, domestic markets in North America and Asia-Pacific continue to decline. With talk of a Chinese slowdown, this may translate into bad news for the air freight market, particularly at major freight hubs in the region. We should therefore treat the recent resurgence in air freight with cautious optimism,” said ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne.

“On the other hand, it seems to be business as usual for passenger traffic irrespective of the economic woes. In particular, international travel continues to burgeon in many markets. Several major airports located in the Brazil, Russia, India and China experienced double digit growth rates in January. South East Asian airports also posted strong gains on the month,” Echevarne added.

January 2014 over January 2013 Year to Date 2014 12-Month Rolling Year
International Passenger 7.8 7.8 5.6
Domestic Passenger 5.1 5.1 3.0
Total Passenger 6.4 6.4 4.2
International Freight 5.0 5.0 0.7
Domestic Freight -1.7 -1.7 0.0
Total Freight 2.8 2.8 0.5
Regional results and trend graphics are provided in the pdf download of this media release.


Notes for Editors

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.

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 download of this media release.

Media Contact

Martine Ohayon
Director, Communications and Events
T: +1 514 373 1224