Press Releases

Red hot summer for air travel as growth in passenger traffic hits record highs in July; air freight volumes remain flat for the month

ACI Passenger and Freight Traffic for July 2015

Montréal, 4 September 2015Global passenger traffic at the world’s major airports rose by almost 8% year over year for the month of July while international and domestic traffic posted growth rates of 7.7% and 8.2% respectively. July and August are the busiest periods for overall global passenger traffic due to holiday travel and tourism activity, particularly in the northern hemisphere. This represents a banner month for passenger numbers since growth is significantly above the trend.

All regions posted significant growth in passenger traffic, although Middle Eastern airports continue to stand out as aviation’s fulcrum. Dubai (DXB), the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, had depressed figures in 2014 due to runway refurbishment over the summer months, which resulted in a growth rate of 29.5% year over year in passenger traffic. Even without including DXB’s growth for the month, the region as a whole would have still recorded double-digit growth on the back of other strong performing airports such as Doha (DOH), Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Tel-Aviv (TLV), which grew their passenger traffic by 24.9%, 23.3% and 18.9% respectively.

Hubs in other regions also recorded strong growth. Passenger traffic at Istanbul (IST), Jakarta (CGK) and Shanghai (PVG) grew by 16.9%, 15.3% and 14.7% respectively. Madrid (MAD) continues to make large strides following the recession and Euro area woes. The airport grew by over 13% in July.

Unlike the record high growth rates in global passenger numbers, air freight volumes were flat with respect to year-over-year growth in July. A slowdown in key emerging markets such as China, as well as oil producing economies, translated into weakness in other sectors of the economy. The strong correlation between changes in air freight volumes and the business cycle coupled with the fact that a high concentration of the world’s major air freight hubs are located in the Asia Pacific region has inevitably resulted in a slowdown. The region’s top five airports experienced a contraction in freight volumes for the month of July. Hong Kong (HKG) dropped by 1.9%.

North American air freight volumes were slightly more mixed with respect to year-over-year growth among the region’s busiest hubs. That being said, the net result was flat growth for the region as a whole. Whereas Memphis (MEM), a FedEx hub, and Louisville (SDF), a UPS hub, experienced growth of 2.5% and 4.2% respectively, airports that have a larger international component to their freight saw volumes drop. Anchorage (ANC) and Miami (MIA) saw air freight traffic drop by 5.6% and 2.3% respectively.


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Notes for editors

1. Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, has 591 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. To download a PDF of this ACI media release, please click here.

Media contact

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