While the Asia-Pacific region leads global growth in passenger traffic at +5.9% year-over-year, overall global growth is at +2.2%. The world's top 20 busiest airports in terms of passenger traffic achieved growth of 1.6% for the month of July, while the world's two busiest airports experienced declines in passenger traffic. Both Atlanta (ATL) and Beijing (PEK) observed a decline in passenger traffic by -3.2% and -2.7% respectively.
Air freight continues along its sluggish growth path with only a slight increase of +0.6% year-over-year for the month of July. As high as 70% of the world's top 20 air freight airports experienced a year-over-year decrease in freight traffic during the same month. However, the first ranked Hong Kong (HKG) and second ranked Memphis (MEM) still achieved growth of +1.9% and +6% respectively. Results were mixed across regions, with some regions such as Latin America-Caribbean (-3.9%) and Africa (-0.7%) recording overall declines, while the Middle East (+2.3%), Europe (1.5%), North America (+0.7%) and Asia-Pacific (+0.4%) posted modest gains.
ACI World's Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, "The overall retreat in domestic demand across the euro area and other advanced economies is revealed in the data with weaker growth in air transport demand resulting in a drop from annualized growth of 5% in 2011 to below 3% in 2013. With a high level of interdependence across markets, this slowdown has obvious repercussions on air transport in emerging economies. Many of Asia's biggest airports have already experienced a drop from the double digit growth rates in passenger traffic that had persisted over many months despite the downside risks. Similarly, the demand for shipments and freight by air remains in a fragile state in tandem with the outlook for a weak global economy."