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29 December 2016   Passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew 8.4% and 3.8% respectively in October 2016

[December 29, 2016 – Hong Kong] In October 2016, Asia-Pacific and Middle East reported passenger traffic increase at +8.4% and +3.8% respectively.


In Asia-Pacific, domestic passenger travels continued to stimulate growth in India with many airports reporting passenger traffic increase in excess of 20% compared to the same month last year. Top runners include: Calcutta (CCU) +37.7%, Goa (GOI) +24.4% and Bangalore (BLR) +23.6%.


In China, while still primarily a domestic market, many airports are actively pursuing growth in international passengers. Kunming (KMG) led the pack in October 2016 with overall passenger increase at +15.4% followed by Xi’an (XIY) +15.1% and Tianjin (TSN) +14.8%.


Elsewhere in the region, Kuala Lumpur (KUL) maintained its momentum of recovery from a period of slow growth since 2014 and delivered an increase at +14.6%. Hong Kong (HKG) was the only major hub in the region recorded a decline of -0.8% in October, largely caused by one-off flight reduction arrangements to accommodate the airport’s transition to a new air traffic management system.


The pace of passenger traffic growth in the Middle East appeared to be slowing down against the backdrop of a more challenging market environment. Dubai (DXB), the largest hub in the region, recorded +2.7% more passengers than same month last year whereas Doha (DOH) remained in leading position delivering growth at +16.7%.


Regarding air freight, despite global trade growth remaining weak, in October 2016 both Asia-Pacific and Middle East continued the strong performance in recent months and generated an increase of +10.2% and +11.5% respectively.


In Asia-Pacific, the surge in volume in October was contributed in part by the strengthening of international freight market. In addition, the gaining popularity of e-commerce in the region may have given further stimulus to air freight as it plays an increasingly important role in the e-commerce chain. The top three freight hubs all delivered robust increase: Hong Kong (HKG) +7.1%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.3% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +10.6%.


Middle East also appeared to be gathering momentum going into the fourth quarter, air freight volumes in October at all major hubs reported substantial gains: Dubai (DXB) +9.5%, Doha (DOH) +21.5%, and Abu Dhabi (AUH) +6.7%.



TABLE 1:  Airports reporting highest preliminary year-on-year traffic growth rates in October 2016 1


Top 3 airports by size category2



> 40M

25M to 40M

15M to 25M

5M to 15M


Beijing (PEK) +5.1%

Xi’an (XIY) +15.1%

Seoul Gimpo (GMP) +3.7%

Calcutta (CCU) +37.7%

Hong Kong (HKG) 


Tokyo Haneda (HND) +5.7%

Tokyo Narita (NRT) +4.5%

Kansai (KIX)


Osaka Itami (ITM) +2.2%

Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +11.3%

Dubai (DXB)


Manila (MNL) +3.8%

Brisbane (BNE) +0.6%

Busan (PUS)


Seoul Incheon (ICN) +10.6%



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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