Press Releases

Strong February due to seasonal effect of Lunar New Year on passenger traffic as air freight receives a boost due to West Coast sea port crisis

Montréal, 10 April 2015 – Global passenger traffic increased by over 6% for the month of February, with much of the growth stemming from international travel, which grew by 7.3%. While all regions reported gains in passenger traffic, most of the buoyant activity stemmed from the Asia-Pacific region, with gains of 11.6% in international passenger traffic for the month of February. Many of the busiest airports in the region posted double-digit growth for the month. The seasonal factor of the Lunar New Year taking place in February 2015, as compared with January 2014, is responsible for some of the distortion in year-over-year traffic results.

With many retailers seeking alternate modes of delivery due to the congestion at sea ports along the western coast of the United States, air freight received a significant boost to volumes for the month of February. Anchorage (ANC), Chicago (ORD) and Los Angeles (LAX) experienced impressive growth of 47.6%, 47.8% and 21.9% respectively. Given that many Asia-Pacific airports act as net exporters of air freight with North American airports as net importers, growth in international freight traffic for each region was 17.3% and 26.9% respectively. Overall, air freight volumes grew 10% for the world as a whole in February as compared to the previous year.

ACI World Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented: “February was a distorted month due to extensive leisure travel during the Lunar New Year. The seasonal effect masks any potential downside risks in air transport demand. Moreover, the resulting substitution effect of the sea port crisis along the Pacific coast also gave air freight a strong boost.

“Regardless of these short term distortions, we have seen continued strong growth month after month in 2014 and into 2015 on a consistent basis,” Echevarne continued. “Both passenger and air freight traffic are dancing to the beat of their own drum in the face of on-going concerns of a global slowdown. That being said, with reduced growth expectations in output in emerging markets, we have yet to see the impact this will have on airport traffic in the coming months.”



Notes for Editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 590 member airport authorities, which operate 1,850 airports in 173 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. For a PDF version of this media release, click here.

Media contacts

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

Ryan White
Manager, Communications
ACI World
T: +1 514 373 1226

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