Press Releases

Air transport demand surges in April

Montréal, 21 June 2017– Fuelled primarily by international traffic growth, global passenger traffic achieved record levels in April 2017, increasing 9.3% year-over-year. International and domestic passenger traffic rose 14.3% and 5.4% respectively.

All regions posted robust gains due to stronger baseline economic fundamentals across global markets. Europe in particular rebounded in April following weakened traffic levels in the first half of 2016 resulting from the attack on Brussels Airport (BRU). Growth in overall passenger traffic was 14% year-over-year for the region in April. Major airports such as London-Heathrow (LHR), Amsterdam (AMS) and Frankfurt (FRA) experienced double-digit growth of 11.3%, 11.3% and 10% respectively.

The Asia-Pacific region, home to some of the world’s fastest growing airports, experienced relatively lower growth at 7.6% year-over-year as compared to other regions. Beijing (PEK), the region’s busiest airport, experienced a decline in passenger traffic (-8%) in April due to the extended closure of a runway for maintenance. Other airports posted large increases. Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Delhi (DEL) and Jakarta (CGK) each saw double-digit growth of 20.2%, 13% and 10.1% respectively for the month.

While the Middle East region continued to grow (13%), the adverse effect on traffic from the ban on personal electronic devices may see reductions in the coming months on routes to North America.

Overall, accumulated global passenger traffic increased 6.7% for the first four months of 2017.

After a period of more subdued growth in 2016, air freight volumes continued to increase in 2017. Overall volumes increased 6% for the month and 7.7% on a year-to-date basis. Despite the backdrop of uncertainty on global trade and economic integration in the United States and the United Kingdom, two of the world’s largest aviation markets, business confidence remained strong. International trade continued to make gains on the cyclical recovery in the global economy, which translated into robust growth in air freight volumes. The ongoing strength in export orders across several manufacturing sectors for high value goods resulted in continued high growth levels.

Major freight hubs with significant loaded freight for export saw their overall volumes jump in April. Shanghai (PVG), Incheon (ICN) and Hong Kong (HKG) grew 14.1%, 11% and 8.9% respectively year-over-year for the month.

Notes for editors
1.Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2017, ACI serves 623 members operating 1,940 airports in 176 countries.

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.

5. Download the  PDF version of this media release

Media contact
Sabrina Guerrieri 
Manager, Communications 
ACI World 
Telephone: +1 514 373 1223 
Anita Berthier 
Manager, External Relations and Special Events   
ACI World   
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254   
Charts and tables

Charts_001 Charts_002 Charts_002_b Charts_003 Charts_003_b

– ENDS –