Global passenger traffic grew by 4.7% for the month of May, which is slightly above the trend of 4.5% year over year for the last twelve months.
International travel continues to contribute to the overall upward surge in passenger traffic with an increase of 5.9% in international passengers for the month. Domestic passenger markets moved up by 3.7%.
Most regions posted strong gains in passenger traffic, with the exception of Africa, which was almost flat for the month of May as compared to the previous year. Among the growth leaders, the Middle East and Latin America-Caribbean experienced robust gains of 7.5% and 6.7% respectively in passenger traffic for the month of May.
Overall global growth in passengers came from a mix of airports in emerging markets and advanced economies. In particular, major North American airports posted above average gains in passenger traffic. Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Atlanta (ATL) increased by 6.4%, 4.9%, 4.8% and 3.4% respectively, which are all above the May North American growth rate of 3.3%, as well as the region's average 12-month growth rate of 2.1%.The higher growth at these airports is in tandem with the economic recovery and overall improvement in business conditions.
Air freight markets maintained growth momentum, achieving year-over-year growth of 4.2% for the month of May. The improvements in world trade coupled with a recovery in global demand point to signs of a stabilized recovery in air freight markets. Europe and Asia-Pacific experienced the strongest gains as compared to the previous year with a rise of 6.6% and 5.6% respectively. The European air freight hubs of Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA) and Paris (CDG) rebounded from the woes of the Euro area crisis in 2013 to growth levels of 14.1%, 7% and 5.9% respectively. The Asian hubs of Hong Kong (HKG) and Shanghai (PVG) also experienced buoyant recoveries as compared to the previous year with growth of 8.3% and 7.5% respectively.