ACI releases its 2012 World Airport Traffic Report

Posted: 3 September 2013 | ACI | No comments yet

Airport passenger traffic maintains momentum; cargo growth remains almost flat for second year as advanced economies face austerity…

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Today, ACI World announced the launch of its 2012 World Annual Traffic Report (WATR). The Report provides coverage of airport traffic statistics, thematic areas including passengers, cargo (freight and mail), aircraft movements, and new sections. With comprehensive data coverage from over 1,500 airports in over 150 countries worldwide, ACI’s flagship publication remains the authoritative source and industry reference for airport data, indicators and rankings. The 2012 WATR, can be purchased at the following URL:

Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World stated, “The latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report takes a historical perspective by analyzing the growth trends for each region and the events that have had an adverse impact on the demand for air transport. As well, the Report provides a global analysis of the last decade’s evolution of international and domestic traffic and a detailed assessment of the passenger traffic seasonality. The share of passenger and cargo traffic is examined across various markets in detail in addition to identification of the fastest growing markets and airports. Passenger traffic around the world continued to grow in spite of a climate that is best described as global economic uncertainty. While the risks of a disintegrated Euro area and the fiscal constraints faced by many developed economies represented a short run challenge for the industry, robust passenger traffic growth in emerging markets served to counterbalance the slowdown in advanced economies. As a result, the aviation industry still attained new heights in 2012. The world’s airports served more than 5.7 billion passengers in 2012, growing by 4.4 percent from 2011.”

Commenting on cargo traffic, Gittens stated, “Traffic in air cargo reveals a different story. As a direct consequence of the slowdown in the growth of the volume of goods and services traded around the world, air cargo growth was relatively stagnant for a third year in a row. While macroeconomic conditions were mainly responsible for air cargo’s sluggish revival, microeconomic factors such as competitive pressures from alternative modes of freight delivery also played a role, particularly in a context of uncertain economic times. In the aggregate, cargo volumes were almost flat at .5 percent in 2012 relative to 2011 at 93 million tonnes.”

2012 – Key Statistics

1,598 airports located in 159 countries reported that:

  • Worldwide airport passenger numbers increased by +4.4% in 2012 to 5.7 billion, registering increases in all six regions
  • Middle East (+13%), Asia-Pacific (+8%), Latin America-Caribbean (+7.6%) and Africa (+6.1%) all showed robust growth in passenger traffic. Europe (+1.7%) and North America (+1.3%) experienced moderate growth
  • Worldwide domestic traffic increased by +3%, while international traffic jumped by +5.7%
  • Worldwide aircraft movements increased 0.6% to 79 million
  • Total cargo volumes handled by airports was almost flat at 0.5%, which represents 93 million tonnes
  • 65% of airports worldwide registered positive passenger growth at an average of 7%, while 35% of airports lost traffic at an average rate of -4.3%.

ACI 2012 Summary

2012 Airport Traffic Summary

Passengers: total passengers enplaned and deplaned, passengers in transit counted once.

Cargo: loaded or unloaded freight and mail.

Aircraft Movements: landing or take-off of an aircraft.

Commenting on regional trends, Gittens said, “In 2012, all regions achieved positive growth rates in passenger traffic. The emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Latin America-Caribbean continue to post strong gains year after year. Despite the fiscal constraints and the economic woes that have plagued European and North American economies over the last couple of years, airports still achieved modest growth in 2012 passenger traffic.”

2013 Outlook

ACI statistics received just before the release of this report showed global passenger traffic up 3% for the first five months of 2013. Commenting on the prospects for the remainder of the year, ACI World’s Director of Economics and Programme Develoment, Dr. Rafael Echevarne, noted, “Overall, the traffic outlook for 2013 is not encouraging. Although passenger traffic in 2013 is expected to grow, emerging markets in the BRIC countries are beginning to experience slowed growth. Combined with the austerity measures and high unemployment in Europe as well as the turbulent recovery in the United States, means that the overall growth rate in passengers is expected to be well below 5%. Cargo traffic is expected to show a decline with respect to 2012 levels, mainly driven by low business and consumer confidence in the largest international economies.”

Download this media release for extra tables (PDF)

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