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11 May, 2013

Global Airports Passenger Traffic up 4.6% in March


Montréal, 10 May 2013 (Airports Council International) – The market for international travel remains buoyant for the month of March. The Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific all posted double digit gains in international passenger traffic of +16.4, +14.1 and +10.9% respectively. Although overall passenger traffic grew by +4.6 percent, domestic traffic showed signs of weakness for some regions for the month of March.

On an aggregate basis, domestic traffic increased by +2.6 percent. With the ongoing economic slowdown across Europe, domestic passenger traffic saw a decline of -5.9 percent. However, Istanbul (IST) remains unperturbed by the European economy, as its passenger traffic grew by +23.8 percent.

Freight traffic continues to exhibit signs of weakness with an overall year over year decline of -1 percent. Every region posted decreases in the volume of freight traffic except for the Middle East, which posted gains of +8.7 percent. Amidst the global slowdown, Dubai (DXB) was still able to attain growth of +14.7 percent. The top three freight hubs in the world, Hong Kong (HKG), Memphis (MEM) and Shanghai (PVG), all experienced declines of -2.2, -1.4 and -3 percent respectively.

ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, “With the general downturn in business activity across major economies, the result is a systemic slowdown in the volume of goods shipped by air. Other indicators reinforce this fact such as Markit’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which measures supplier deliveries, inventory levels and new orders. Results of the index show a decline in the first quarter with respect to the Eurozone. The international passenger, on the other hand, continues to show resilience month after month. In essence, it is the international travel markets, especially in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, that are keeping the aviation sector afloat during these uncertain times.”


Table 1: Summary Worldwide Traffic Results, March 2013 (% change)

March 2013 Over March 2012

Year to Date 2013

12-Month Rolling Year


International Passenger




Domestic Passenger




Total Passenger





International Freight




Domestic Freight




Total Freight





1. Airports Council International (ACI) has 580 member airport authorities, which operate over 1,650 airports in 179 countries. ACI’s mission is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations, and this mandate is carried out through the organization’s multiple training opportunities, as well as the customer service benchmarking programme, a wide range of conferences, industry statistical products and best practice publications.

2. PaxFlash and FreightFlash statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 60% of total passenger traffic and 70% of total freight traffic worldwide. Commentary, tables and charts are based on preliminary data submitted by participating airports and are therefore subject to change.