ACI: Passengers up 10% in Asia-Pacific and down -2% in Middle East

The latest figures released by the Asia-Pacific branch of Airports Council International (ACI) show passenger traffic across Asia-Pacific airports recorded growth at +9.9% in April 2018 while a reduction of -2.4% was observed in the Middle East.
ACI said India led the Asia-Pacific region delivering growth at 20.4%, sustained by robust domestic demand.  The domestic sector reported growth exceeding 20% for the third consecutive month, at +23.8% in April.  Top volume drivers for the month were: Delhi (DEL) +16.8%, Bangalore (BLR) +46.1% and Mumbai (BOM) +12.8%. (Note: the significant growth in Bangalore (BLR) was a result of reduced operations during partial runway closure in 2017).

In China, both the domestic and international sectors delivered double-digit growth for the month, resulting in an overall gain of +11.8%, the country’s highest overall growth to-date in 2018.  Top volume drivers for the month included: Beijing (PEK) +18%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.6%, and Guangzhou (CAN) +9.9%. (Note: the significant growth at PEK was a result of reduced operations in 2017 during closure of the main runway in 2017).

Japan grew +7% for the month, the highest to-date in 2018 possibly benefiting from holiday travels around the cherry blossom and Easter season.  Current month’s growth was primarily driven by volume increase at Tokyo Haneda (HND) +6.1%, the second busiest airport in the Asia-Pacific in terms of passenger traffic; followed by Osaka Kansai (KIX) +12.7% and Tokyo Narita (NRT) +5.3%.

In the Middle East, passenger volume recorded an overall decline this month as traffic softened at the larger hubs.  ACI said traffic at Dubai (DXB) -0.1% was virtually flat compared to last year, while the diplomatic crisis in Qatar continued to negatively impact Doha (DOH) at -18.2%.  On the other hand, strong growth continued to be observed at Kuwait (KWI) +19.3% and Muscat (MCT) +9.7%.

After a slow month in March 2018, air freight growth recovered in April 2018, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East grew at +4.2% and +2.6% respectively.  Hong Kong continued to be the top freight hub delivering volume growth at +5% followed by Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +2.8% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +0.1%.