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NEWS Last modified on July 8, 2013

Global passenger traffic soars in May

May was a banner month for the world's busiest passenger airports, with 18 of the top 20 gateways experiencing a year-on-year rise in traffic, according to ACI World.

Overall passenger traffic increased by 4.7% in May across the globe. 

Airports also reported a significant increase of 6.9% in international passenger traffic whereas domestic passenger traffic increased by 2.8% as compared to May 2012.

International traffic remains buoyant in the Middle East particularly at key hubs around the region. For instance, Dubai (DXB) and Istanbul (IST) continue along their relentless growth path achieving double digit growth over 18% for the month of May.

Moving further east, Kuala Lumpur (KUL) achieved remarkable growth of 22.3% in May.

Air freight continues to maintain a sluggish pace with virtually no growth in the volume of traffic worldwide.

International freight was flat for the month, while domestic freight traffic decreased by 1.1%.

From June 2012 to May 2013, total freight volume increased only slightly by 0.3%.

In analysing the world's top twenty airports with respect to freight traffic, as much as 60% of these airports faced year-over-year declines in air freight traffic.

Jakarta (CGK) and Dubai (DXB) are the only hubs among the world's top airports to experience significant gains of 18.3% and 11.9% respectively.

ACI World's economics director, Rafael Echevarne commented: "International travel is poised for continued growth, as we approach the high season for vacations over the holiday months. All regions recorded robust growth rates in international passenger traffic.

"Although Europe's domestic market contracted in May, international traffic remains strong with growth close to 7%.

"Nevertheless, with regards to air freight, emerging markets are faced with weaker demand from North America and Europe.

"As a result, we are witnessing slowing growth or declines at major air freight exporters across Asia-Pacific.

"With a strong recovery in the Eurozone doubtful in the short run, the sluggishness in the air freight market will persist."

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