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25 August 2017   June 2017: Passengers up 8% and 3% respectively in Asia-Pacific and Middle East

[August 25, 2017 – Hong Kong] Passengers traveling through the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airports in June grew by +7.9% and +3.3% respectively compared to the same period last year. For the first half of 2017 (H1), Asia-Pacific passenger traffic grew by +8.1% and the Middle East +7.2%.


In China, domestic passenger travels delivered strong results in June, though the overall pace of international passenger travels appeared to be moderating after a period of rapid expansion in 2016. Shijiazhuang (SJW) +27.5% and Tianjin (TSN) +22.9% continued to expand at a fast pace recording substantial increase from last year.


In India, while the pace of increase in domestic passenger traffic continued to ease, overall growth in June sustained at above 15%. Majority of reporting airports generated double-digit growth from last year, driven by small to medium sized airports led by: Bhubaneswar (BBI) +40.1%, Guwahati (GAU) +34.9% and Calcutta (CCU) +32%.


In the Middle East, passenger traffic showed mixed results. Qatar’s diplomatic crisis with a number of neighbouring states in June resulted in airspace blockade against Qatar, consequently passenger traffic at Doha (DOH) suffered a decline of -14.6%. Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait (KWI) +19.3% and Muscat (MCT) +17.5% continued to grow at a fast pace. The largest hub in the region Dubai (DXB) reported moderate growth at +3.9% as a result of Ramadan falling in June, a traditionally slow month.


Overall in the first half of 2017, passenger traffic growth maintained strength. Domestic travel business in both India and China continued to be thriving but beginning to show signs of moderation. In the Middle East, airports showed divergent results year-to-date, impacting by a variety of external factors.


In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific grew +8.8% while the Middle East grew +1.6% in June. For the year-to-date, the two regions gained 10.1% and 6.6% respectively from last year.


Exports continued to drive strong air freight growth in the Asia-Pacific in June: Hong Kong (HKG) +11.4%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +14.8% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +5.1%.  In the Middle East, the pace of growth continued to soften and many airports recorded a contraction this month. The largest hub in the region, Dubai (DXB) declined -4.7%. Doha (DOH) was the exception, delivering growth of +17% for the month.


Overall, air freight delivered very strong results for the first half of 2017, although the pace of growth slowed in the second quarter. Among the top 10 freight airports in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East combined, half recorded double-digit growth for the year-to-date. Air freight growth going into the second half of 2017 is expected to remain solid, while continue to moderate.


TABLE 1:  Preliminary year-on-year traffic growth rates for Airports reporting highest traffic volume in the respective size category in June 2017 1


Top 3 airports by size category2



> 40M

25M to 40M

15M to 25M

5M to 15M


Beijing (PEK) +1.6%


Tokyo Narita (NRT) +3.0%


Nanjing (NKG) +14.4%


Muscat (MCT) +17.5%

Hong Kong (HKG) 


Dubai (DXB) +3.9%

Doha (DOH) -14.6%

Abu Dhabi (AUH)   -5.3%


Kuwait (KWI) +19.3%

Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +14.8%

Tokyo Haneda (HND) +2.5%

Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) +8.6%

Xiamen (XMN) +5.9%

Sharjah (SJH) +1.8%

Seoul Incheon (ICN) +5.1%





  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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