Press Releases

Robust passenger traffic growth; freight volumes reach 3-month peak with double-digit growth


Montreal, 27 October 2017 – Global passenger traffic increased 6.7% in August and 6.8% year to date. Global freight reached a 3-month peak during August, with a 10.5% global increase, bringing the year to date growth to 8.7%.

Passenger traffic

Africa and Europe led passenger traffic growth for August at 9.6% and 8.9% respectively on a year over year basis.

Africa’s growth rate has accelerated since May, signaling that the region’s negative drag on traffic may be subsiding. Commodity prices have recovered since January 2017, translating into a positive outlook for the region. Although most African economies recorded passenger traffic growth during the month, northern and northeastern African countries posted particularly high figures. Of the region’s largest aviation markets, Egypt (+20.1%), Morocco (+14.2%) and Tunisia (+12.1%) recorded the highest growth rates. Nigeria, which emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017, grew 8.2% in August—potentially marking a turning point for the country’s embattled passenger market.

Europe’s domestic passenger traffic slowed, posting growth of 5.9% (down from 8.4% in July). This is a return to the long-term trend as growth in Europe is driven primarily by the international segment. The latter grew at 10.1% in August, down from 10.5% in July. Although the region’s advanced economies recorded strong growth in recent months, eastern and south-eastern Europe have contributed increasing shares to the region’s total growth. Turkey and the Russian Federation, growing at 18% and 15.6% respectively, both continued to recover from a difficult period during 2016 and early 2017, boosting the region’s numbers.

At the airport level, Antalya Airport (AYT) posted a record-level growth rate of 55.3% for the month. In Africa, Cairo (CAI), which experienced a particularly difficult period between May and July, finally returned to positive growth with 6.6% growth on a year over year basis.

Freight volumes

The same general pattern observed in July continued in August for most regions, with global year to date freight volumes reaching 8.7%. North America and Latin America-Caribbean, which lagged behind in July, rallied to the global growth trend and reached 10.1% and 9.1% growth. Here again, Africa recorded particularly high numbers, reaching 21.6% and boosting its year to date figure to 14.7%.

At the country level, Kenya was a significant contributor with a 66.7% increase in freight. Although Nigeria experienced an improvement in passenger traffic, its freight volumes declined by 6.4% as compared to the previous year.

Nairobi (NBO), Kenya’s main airport, recorded a 75.5% year over year increase in freight volumes. Having been in negative territory for several months in the last year, the airport was able to recover its freight traffic and surpass previous volumes.

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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