Global traffic rises slightly

By Administrator |

Airports Council International (ACI) reports that international passenger traffic declined by 1.8% in the month of April, compared to a 4.9% fall in domestic traffic and an overall global total decrease of 3%.

Angela Gittens, Director General said ACI is encouraged that the rate of decline appears to be slowing in the first quarter, with Middle East and Africa regions registering positive results for the month, and Asia Pacific, Europe and North America showing more modest declines than in the early part of the year.

But she added: ‘While these results are heartening, we need to put them into perspective and consider that Easter fell in April this year distorting results upwards, particularly international traffic.’

According to ACI, the Middle East led with a 9.5% increase and all cities reported positive results. In northern Africa, the popular tourist destinations of Agadir, Alexandria, Algiers, Casablanca and Cairo all reported good growth, along with some of the major international hubs in Asia Pacific (Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila).

In Europe, Athens, Geneva, London Heathrow and Milan Malpensa also reported increases in overall results, thanks to the contribution of international traffic growth. By contrast, in North America only the major holiday destination airport locations in Florida saw any increase in international traffic, whereas Atlanta and Dallas Fort Worth remained flat, and traffic at Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, Toronto and Vancouver decreased.

Meanwhile, in Latin America Mexico City was down by 3.8%, while other destinations reported increases in international traffic, including Buenos Aires, Cancun, Lima, Montego Bay, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro. ACI added that the impact on traffic of the H1N1 virus on the April results are seen as minor since the outbreak only occurred at the end of the month. TREND fully expects to see these numbers reflected in the May results when they have been compiled.

Gittens is also of the same opinion: ‘We can expect May results to be more sobering once again when compared to robust growth in May 2008 and without the boost of holiday factors, and there will certainly be a negative impact of H1N1 in Latin America/Caribbean and North America. If we look at the long term trends we may be near a turnaround point, but it is too early to call a recovery.’

Interestingly, the reliable barometer of freight traffic on world trade and global well being was still severely impacted by the world economic depression, down by 23%.

In absolute number terms, ACI reported that 112m passengers travelled worldwide in April, a decline of 1.8% with the following results by region: Europe 55.6m (-2.5%); Asia Pacific 26.8m (-2.7%); North America (13.7m); Middle East 6.4m (+9.5%); Latin America/Caribbean 4.3m (+0.9%); and Africa 5m (-0.8%).


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