“Annual growth in passenger traffic in 2014 will end the year in the realm of 5%. As we look forward into 2015, we have two forces at play working in opposite directions. On the one hand, economic growth rates among certain emerging markets have diverged,” said ACI World's Economics Director Rafael Echevarne.
“Of the BRICS economies, we see India and China maintaining favourable growth while Brazil and Russia experience a slowdown. The Euro area continues to teeter towards a recession. Thus, a number of downside risks remain on the horizon in 2015. On the other hand, the recent decrease in oil prices and improvements in the American economy are likely to contribute positively to the continued increases in passenger numbers. Moreover, the boosting of world trade volumes in the latter half of 2014 has had a positive impact on the air freight market."
For the period from January to November 2014, accumulated passenger traffic grew by 5% on a year-to-date basis. For the month of November alone, passenger numbers grew by 5.4% year-over-year. Airports also reported an increase of 5.6% in international passenger traffic; domestic passenger traffic increased by 5.4% as compared to November 2013.
African passenger traffic is in recovery after a period of significant weakness over 2012 and 2013, due to the instability brought on by the Arab Spring. Overall, African passenger traffic increased by 5.4% in November. Cairo (CAI) and Hurghada (HRG), two of Egypt's major airports, saw passenger traffic jump back by 12.6% and 54.7% respectively for the month of November.
The Middle East also achieved strong growth in passenger traffic at 6.1% for the month of November. Growth primarily came from Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Doha (DOH). The airports posted gains of 15.6% and 11% respectively. Dubai (DXB), the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, experienced growth of 4.3% for the month.
The Asia-Pacific region experienced growth of 6% in overall passenger traffic. Growth in the domestic Chinese market continues to be a large contributor to growth. Hangzhou (HGH), Shanghai (PVG), Chengdu (CTU) and Shenzhen (SZX) achieved double digit growth of 20%, 16%, 12.6% and 11.7% respectively. The region's top ranked airports—Beijing (PEK), Tokyo (HND) and Hong Kong (HKG)—posted gains of 9.1%, 5.4% and 5.5% respectively.
European airports posted a strong November with growth of 5.7% in passenger traffic. 27 of the top 30 busiest European airports recorded gains in passenger traffic. This represents a recovery from a weakened Euro area that persisted throughout 2013. Istanbul (IST) continues to report impressive double digit gains at 12.8% year-over-year for the month of November. Air transport demand in Madrid (MAD) and Rome (FCO) has bounced back following the weakness in these economies during the Euro area crisis. Each airport achieved growth of 9.3% and 10.6% respectively.
Latin America-Caribbean and North American airports grew by 6% and 4.3% respectively in passenger traffic.