Press Releases

Growth in airport traffic reaches new highs in July, with freight volumes recording robust increases

Montréal, 22 September 2017 – Continuing a trend of strong growth in 2017, passenger traffic increased 6.8% in July and freight volumes recorded a robust 8.9 increase. 

Passenger traffic:

Despite macroeconomic forecasts remaining cautious for the year, improving conditions in most regions led to sustained growth up until July, with global year to date growth reaching 6.9%.

Europe again stood out from other regions, leading total passenger traffic growth with 9.9% on a year over year basis. The region’s year to date growth reached 9.4%, 1.5 percentage points over its closest peer, Asia-Pacific. Although international passenger traffic growth has provided a significant contribution to the region’s growth throughout the year, Europe’s domestic market also increased substantially in July, reaching 8.4%.

Europe’s success was largely contributed by Turkey’s continued recovery in July where total passenger traffic grew 17.6% year over year at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST). Antalya airport (AYT) posted particularly impressive numbers, surging 64.1%, following a growth rate of more than 75% year over year in June. The airport’s traffic started recovering in April, in time for the summer tourism season, after suffering significant decline in 2016 and early 2017.

Asia-Pacific, although having benefitted from typically robust growth throughout 2017, experienced a slight slowdown in July, growing 5.7%. And Africa’s traffic growth accelerated during the same period, reaching 7.5% against its year to date figure of 5.4%. The region’s gains were distributed particularly unevenly, especially in Northern Africa, with Marrakech (RAK), Tunis (TUN) and Algiers (ALG) all posting double-digit growth, and Cairo (CAI) and Enfidha (NBE) declining by comparable numbers.

Air freight traffic:

Fuelled by strengthening global trade and industrial production, freight volumes continued their increase in July. On a year to date basis, global volume reached 8.4%, drawing a particularly stark contrast with July 2016, where this number stood at 0.9%.

Most regions posted strong growth in freight volume, with Africa leading the group at 18.1%, followed by Europe (11.2%), the Middle East (10.6%) and Asia-Pacific (9.3%). North America and Latin-America and Caribbean, did not benefit from the same surge, increasing 6.5% and 3.8% respectively, in line with their year to date numbers.

Two countries in particular helped boost Africa’s freight numbers: South Africa and Kenya, both posting growth rates of more than 20%. Although most countries in Europe benefitted from significant growth in July, Germany and the UK, the two largest freight markets in the region, contributed significantly to these numbers, standing at 9.3% and 12.5% respectively.

As with the passenger traffic numbers, Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) stood out in freight volumes, growing 32.2% year over year. Continuing a trend started in March, London-Heathrow (LHR) contributed a significant part of the freight market’s increase in volume, growing 15.1% in July, year over year. Despite a decrease in passenger traffic at Doha International Airport (DOH) due to diplomatic fallout in the region, the airport continued its sustained growth in freight volume, reaching 14.5% year over year.

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.

4. 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

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