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NEWS Last modified on October 10, 2014

Global passenger traffic for August up 5.3%, ACI reports

Global passenger traffic for August increased by 5.3%, which was slightly above the 12-month growth trend of 4.7%, the Airports Council International (ACI) reports.

Airports increased international traffic by 6.7%, while domestic passenger traffic increased by 4%, compared to August 2013.

ACI explains that European gateways showed strong growth in August at 7.4%, representing a recovery in air transport demand over last year for certain gateways that were "beleaguered" by weakened economies in the Euro area in 2013.

Turkish and Russian airports remain some of the major contributors to overall growth for the region it says, in particular, the two Russian airports based in Moscow of Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo, which saw double-digit growth of over 30% in August.

ACI notes that African airports also experienced a strong recovery in passenger traffic, despite the adverse effects of the Ebola crisis on air transport in western parts of the African continent, and Northern Africa rebounded after a bleak period in passenger numbers for 2012 and 2013.

From the eve of the Egyptian army-led overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi to its aftermath, the tourist economy was crippled as passenger traffic dropped significantly in 2013, and Cairo and Hurghada, two of Egypt's major gateways, saw traffic jump back by 24% and 76.7% respectively in August, while it rose overall in Africa by 10.8%.

The Middle East also achieved robust growth of 9% in August, Latin America-Caribbean, North America and Asia-Pacific, had more moderate growth levels at 4.5%, 3.9% and 3.3% respectively, ACI says.

ACI also explains that air freight continues to be in recovery mode as growth levels have risen above trend, and overall accumulated volumes for the last 12 months rose by 3.6% while August freight volumes jumped by 5.8%.

cargo

ACI also adds that Dubai World Central is moving up the ranks to be among the busiest international freight airports in the world.

Asia-Pacific also posted strong increases in volumes at 8.2% for the month of August, led by the world's largest air freight hub, Hong Kong, which increased volumes by 8.6% for the month, while Europe and North America had more modest growth levels at 3.3% and 2.1% respectively, while Africa saw growth of 0.5% year-on-year.

ACI World's economics director, Rafael Echevarne, comments: “Despite some of the downside risks that that have persisted in 2014, such as the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the escalating geopolitical threats in the Middle East, passenger traffic has remained relatively resilient with above average growth for the month of August.

“Notwithstanding, the Ebola outbreak, if not contained in the short run, may further depress traffic flows beyond the existing routes to and from the affected areas.

"Similarly, air freight volumes also posted above average growth rates. Although growth in domestic freight volumes in Europe and North America showed weakness in August, international freight volumes showed robust growth in most regions, particularly at airports in the large exporting nations of the Asia-Pacific."

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