Global Airport passenger traffic increases in 2015

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

heathrow airport2Airports Council International (ACI) World announced that global passenger traffic increased by over 6% for the first quarter of 2015 and by 7% for the month of March as compared to the previous year. International passenger traffic grew by 6.8% year-over-year whereas domestic traffic grew by 5.7% for the period from January to March 2015. Continue to read for regional details

While all regions reported gains in passenger traffic, most of the buoyant activity stemmed from the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, with respective gains of 11.1% and 10% in passenger traffic for the month of March. Many of the busiest airports in the Asia-Pacific region posted double-digit growth for the first quarter. Shanghai (PVG), Incheon (ICN), Bangkok (BKK) and New Delhi (DEL) increased by 17.7%, 15.6%, 14.8% and 13% respectively. Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Doha (DOH), two of the fastest growing airports in the Middle East, grew by 21.1% and 16.8% respectively. Much of the growth, particularly with respect to the Asia-Pacific region, stems from the remnants of leisure travel during the February Lunar New Year.

Air freight experienced more modest growth as volumes increased by 1.4% for the month of March, although the first quarter saw an overall increase of 4.7% year over year.

aci march15 pas trends

The slowed growth in March comes after the upsurge in February due to the Lunar New Year and the modal shift towards air transport resulting from congestion at sea ports along the western coast of the United States. Growth rates across the globe were mixed for the month of March. Although North America has maintained a solid growth rate of 5.7% year over year in March, results were mixed at the sub-regional level. Memphis (MEM) and Louisville (SDF), two of North America's largest air freight hubs, were in decline by 2% and 0.4% respectively, while West coast and Midwest airports posted solid gains. Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Anchorage (ANC) had huge jumps of 32.9%, 14.5% and 12.8% respectively for the month of March. Both Asia-Pacific and Europe saw a decline of 1.4% and 1.9% respectively. Hong Kong (HKG), the world's largest air freight hub, declined by 8.2% in March.


March 2015

Over March 2014

Year to date

March 2015


rolling year

International passenger 7.5 6.8 6.2
Domestic passenger 6.7 5.7 5.0
Total passenger 7.0 6.1 5.5
International freight 1.6 5.8 6.0
Domestic freight 0.7 2.2 3.3
Total freight 1.4 4.7 5.2
TABLE 2: PaxFlash summary – March 2015

MARCH 2015




YE thru MARCH 2015


International passengers
Africa -0.2 2.4 5.7
Asia-Pacific 10.5 8.9 6.4
Europe 5.5 5.2 5.5
Latin America-Caribbean 15.3 9.9 8.0
Middle East 10.5 9.9 9.4
North America 5.2 5.5 6.2
World 7.5 6.8 6.2
Domestic passengers
Africa 10.6 6.8 6.3
Asia-Pacific 11.8 8.5 6.8
Europe 4.6 4.0 4.8
Latin America-Caribbean 5.5 5.5 5.7
Middle East
North America 3.7 4.0 3.6
World 6.7 5.7 5.0
Total passengers
Africa 3.0 3.5 5.4
Asia-Pacific 11.1 8.5 6.5
Europe 5.5 5.1 5.5
Latin America-Caribbean 8.3 6.6 6.2
Middle East 10.0 9.4 9.0
North America 3.9 4.2 4.0
World 7.0 6.1 5.5

Traffic table definitions:

PASSENGER TRAFFIC: departing + arriving passengers (000s)

INTERNATIONAL: traffic performed between the designated airport and an airport in another country/territory

DOMESTIC: traffic performed between two airports located in the same country/territory

TOTAL: international + domestic passengers + direct transit passengers counted once (when breakdown is available)

Year-over-year percentage changes (% YOY) are calculated from a representative sample.

YOY Year over year same month comparison

YTD Year to date, starting March 2015 to March 2015, compared to same period previous year

YE Year end, based on rolling 12 month period, compared to same prior 12 month period




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