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06 August 2018   May 2018: Passengers up +6% in Asia-Pacific and down -5% in Middle East

[August 6, 2018 - Hong Kong] Passenger traffic across Asia-Pacific airports recorded growth at +6.3% in May 2018 while a reduction of -4.5% was observed in the Middle East.


India led the Asia-Pacific region delivering growth at +13.3%. The upward trend in passenger traffic has slowed compared to last year and the domestic sector reported the lowest growth since Nov 2017 at +15.5%. Top volume drivers for the month were: Bangalore (BLR) +25.5%, Delhi (DEL) +8.6%, and Hyderabad (HYD) +27.3%.


Passenger traffic growth in China moderated to +8.2% for the month sustained by solid domestic demand at +7.11%. Out of the top 10 airports in Asia-Pacific that generated the highest domestic passenger volume increase from last year, 6 airports came from China and the top three were: Beijing (PEK) +6.8%, Shenzhen (SZX) +10.8%, and Nanchang (KHN) +46.2%.


Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, passenger traffic growth slowed down in a number of countries likely caused by the earlier start of Ramadan this year. Both Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Jakarta (CGK) recorded declines at -2.7% and -2.6% respectively.


Mixed results were observed in the Middle East. The region as a whole recorded an overall decline of -4.5%. The earlier timing of Ramadan likely contributed in part to the slow down at the three major hubs: Dubai (DXB) -3.8%, Doha (DOH) -23.6% and Abu Dhabi (AUH) -12.9%. On the other hand, Kuwait (KWI) and Muscat (MCT) continued to report positive growth at +18.2% and +6.9 respectively.


In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific airports maintained solid growth at +4.7% while the Middle East experienced a small decline of -0.9%. Hong Kong continued to be the top freight hub delivering growth at +4.7% followed by Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +1.0% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +4.4%.



TABLE 1:  Preliminary year-on-year traffic growth rates for Airports reporting highest traffic volume in the respective size category in May 20181


Top 3 airports by size category2



> 40M

25M to 40M

15M to 25M

5M to 15M



Beijing (PEK) +6.8%

Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) +7.8%

Madras (MAA) +13.5%

Kuwait (KWI) +18.2%

Hong Kong (HKG) 



Tokyo Haneda (HND) -2.9%


Hangzhou (HGH) +7.6%


Fukuoka (FUK) +4.6%

Muscat (MCT)


Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +1.0%


Dubai (DXB)      -3.8%


Melbourne (MEL) +3.4%

Tianjin (TSN) +10.7%

Nagoya (NGO) +2.3%

Seoul Incheon (ICN)         +4.4%





Note :

  1. ACI preliminary passenger and freight 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.


  1. Size categories refer to the annual passenger traffic (in the last 12 months)



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