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NEWS Last modified on September 3, 2013

Aviation industry “attained new heights” in 2012

Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World.

ACI World has launched its 2012 World Annual Traffic Report (WATR).

The report provides coverage of airport traffic statistics; thematic areas including passengers, cargo (freight and mail); aircraft movements; and new sections from over 1,500 airports in more than 150 countries.

Director General of ACI World, Angela Gittens, commented: “Passenger traffic around the world continued to grow in spite of a climate that is best described as global economic uncertainty.

“While the risks of a disintegrated Euro area and the fiscal constraints faced by many developed economies represented a short run challenge for the industry, robust passenger traffic growth in emerging markets served to counterbalance the slowdown in advanced economies.

“As a result, the aviation industry still attained new heights in 2012.  The world’s airports served more than 5.7 billion passengers, growing by 4.4% from 2011.”

However, cargo traffic remained “stagnant” for a third consecutive year.

Gittens added: “While macroeconomic conditions were mainly responsible for air cargo’s sluggish revival, microeconomic factors such as competitive pressures from alternative modes of freight delivery also played a role, particularly in a context of uncertain economic times. In the aggregate, cargo volumes were almost flat at 0.5% in 2012, relative to 2011 at 93 million tonnes.”

Passenger numbers increased by 4.4% last year to 5.7bn, growing across all six regions, reported 1,598 airports located in 159 countries.

While Europe (+1.7%) and North America (+1.3%) experienced moderate growth, the Middle East (+13%), Asia-Pacific (+8%), Latin America and the Caribbean (+7.6%) and Africa (+6.1%) showed the highest gains.

Worldwide domestic traffic increased by 3% while international traffic jumped by 5.7%.  Global aircraft movements increased 0.6% to 79 million.

Cargo volumes were almost flat at 0.5% growth to 93m tonnes.

In total, 65% of airports registered positive passenger growth at an average of 7%. The remaining 35% of airports lost an average of 4.3% traffic.


2013 outlook

The first five months of 2013 showed a 3% increased in global traffic.

Dr Rafael Echevarne, Director of Economics and Programme Development, noted: “The traffic outlook for 2013 is not encouraging. Although passenger traffic is expected to grow, emerging markets in the BRIC countries are beginning to experience slowed growth.

“Combined with the austerity measures and high unemployment in Europe as well as the turbulent recovery in the United States, means that the overall growth rate in passengers is expected to be well below 5%.

“Cargo traffic is expected to show a decline with respect to 2012 levels, mainly driven by low business and consumer confidence in the largest international economies.”

The full report can be purchased here.

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