July passenger traffic strong, freight slump deepens

Posted: 6 September 2011 | ACI | No comments yet

Worldwide passenger traffic grew significantly in July, posting a 5 percent gain over July of 2010…

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Worldwide passenger traffic grew significantly in July, posting a 5 percent gain over July of 2010. International passengers were up 6.7 percent and domestic passengers increased 3.5 percent. All regions showed positive growth except Africa, which saw a 7.1 percent decline. Tourist destinations across North Africa showed double-digit declines, as civil unrest continued to depress traffic.

Latin America/Caribbean registered the fastest growth rate at 10 percent, driven once again by very strong domestic demand in Brazil. The Middle East and Europe showed the next highest rates of growth, 7.7 percent and 6.7 percent respectively. Freight was a different story. Overall freight volume was down 5.6 percent, with only Latin America/Caribbean showing healthy growth at 3.3 percent. Europe was slightly positive, up by 0.4 percent. North America showed the largest decline, 12.5 percent over last July, as domestic freight tumbled nearly 16 percent.

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Angela Gittens, ACI’s Director General, commented on the July results: “It is encouraging to see passenger growth continue at a rapid clip, as it has for the past year; the recovery in traffic began in earnest in July 2010. The downturn in freight, however, is cause for concern, as this is the second monthly decline in a row, and more severe than the decrease in June, which was just 2 per cent. In July, market anxiety over sovereign debt in Europe and the U.S., and the real possibility of a ‘double dip’ recession eroded business confidence, and that often translates into companies drawing down inventories rather than ordering new shipments by air. We will be watching freight developments carefully, as very often declines in freight volumes foreshadow economic problems on the horizon. We are not ready to declare this a trend and we remain cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2011.”

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