Passenger traffic on steady growth path at 5% year over year as air freight continues its descent for April

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Montréal, 05 June 2012 – Passenger traffic continues to show resilience in the face of on-going concerns about recessions in many major European economies. Regardless of the slowdown that was triggered by the sovereign debt crises in the Eurozone area, passenger traffic grew by almost 5 percent while international traffic increased by 6 percent for the month of April. While air travel has experienced an expansion in all regions, emerging markets continue to post impressive growth figures. Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East all experienced year over year growth in the vicinity of 10 percent for April. Major airports in Asia-Pacific such as Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) and Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) posted double digit gains of 18 percent and 13 percent respectively. Relative to the emerging markets of Asia, more modest growth was observed in North America (2.9 percent), Latin America-Caribbean (2.7 percent) and Europe (1.9 percent).

Global trends in the air freight environment are different from the more optimistic view of air travel passenger markets. Air freight volumes have declined by -4 percent for the month of April. Many of the world’s freight hubs are contracting vis-à-vis 2011 levels. A total of 15 of the world’s top 20 freight airports contracted in freight volumes for the month of April. The combined freight volume passing through the world’s top 20 freight traffic airports make up more than 50% of global freight volumes. The contraction in freight traffic is especially evident in the economies of North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific with declines of -7 percent, -4.3 percent and -3.1 percent respectively. For instance, Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Flughafen Frankfurt/Main (FRA) each experienced double digit declines of -16.7 percent, -12.3 percent, -10.8 percent respectively.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, "The European debt problem is having a contagion effect on other economies and trading partners. Traffic volume in air freight has been curtailed not only in the economies of Europe but also in the trading hubs of North America, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Although we are seeing a slowdown in domestic passenger traffic travel in Europe, fortunately, the story is different for air travel from a global perspective. The international traveller continues to be unaffected by the potential economic contraction and spill over effects from Europe with growth reaching almost 6 percent in international passenger traffic as compared to April 2011."