Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide association of airports, announced global passenger traffic results for the month of April 2015. Global passenger traffic is increased by 5.6% for April 2015 as compared to the previous year. International passenger traffic grew by 4.8% year-over-year whereas domestic traffic grew by 6.4% for the month as a whole.
While all regions reported gains in passenger traffic, most of the buoyant activity stemmed from the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Latin American-Caribbean regions, with passenger traffic gains of 9.4%, 8.2% and 7.1% respectively for the month of April.
Most of the world's busiest airports posted gains in passenger traffic. As many as 27 of the world's 30 busiest airports experienced positive growth for the month of April. The Asian airports recorded the largest strides in passenger traffic. Shanghai (PVG), Incheon (ICN) and Bangkok (BKK) all experienced double-digit growth rates of 19.9%, 18.8% and 16.1% respectively. Despite the slowdown in some emerging markets, India remains a shining light among the BRICS countries. Both Mumbai (BOM) and Delhi (DEL) showed robust growth of 20.7% and 15.2% respectively for the month of April.
Air freight experienced moderate growth as volumes increased by 3.3% for the month of April, although the first four months saw an accumulated increase of 4.4% year-over-year. The slowed growth in April 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. With ongoing concerns in the Euro area and the slowdown across Asian export markets, the slowed growth in April is consistent with weakened global trade volumes. Freight volumes in the Asia-Pacific region grew modestly by 2.6%, whereas Europe inched up by only 0.8%.
"While passenger traffic remains strong in some key markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, there is growing concern that air freight volumes will become sluggish with respect to future growth prospects," commented Rafael Echevarne, Economics Director, ACI World. "The weaker than expected economic performance in the United States and the global trade slowdown in Asian markets will inevitably have an unfavourable impact. That being said, volumes remain in positive territory in relation to year-over-year growth. We have yet to see how this will play out in the coming months."