| ||Air freight volumes worldwide were up 5% year-over-year in October, a 1.2 point drop from September, but signifying the 13th consecutive month of air cargo growth, according to Airports Council International (ACI).
Cumulative domestic air freight shipping in October was up 3.4% year-over-year, and global international air cargo tonnage was up 5.6%. Approximately 5.7 million metric tonnes in air cargo were transported in October, an 11.2% rise in volume from September. Year-to-date, global air freight is growing at a 4.8% pace, year-over-year. At this point in October 2013, air freight’s year-to-date growth rate over the previous year was 0.4%.
October’s global air passenger traffic numbers were up 6% year-over-year, boosting the cumulative year-to-date growth pace for passengers to 4.9%. The number of international passengers worldwide during the month rose 6.3% year-over-year; passengers flying on domestic flights worldwide grew 5.8% year-over-year. The world’s airports served approximately 293 million passengers in October, down 12.8% from September’s total of approximately 336 million.
“Although there has been improvement in the [US] economy coupled with greater momentum in international trade volumes in Asia-Pacific, downside risks continue to persist in other regions, particularly in [Europe],” ACI economics director Rafael Echevarne said. “That being said, air travel has shown some level of immunity to the ongoing risks in the global economy despite its link to the overall business cycle. Growth in passenger traffic will still be in the realm of 5% for 2014 by year’s end with air freight also growing by over 4% as compared to 2013.”
The biggest increase in freight volumes for the month was in the Middle East, which grew 13.7% year-over-year, largely thanks to cargo-centric Dubai World Central airport (DWC), where air freight volumes have reportedly grown by 331% year-0ver-year, according to ACI. Freight volume was also up significantly (10.7%) in Africa, as the continent’s largest freight hub, OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, reported volume growth of 7.6% year-over-year during the month.
Africa saw the largest increase of passenger numbers during the month, up 8.8% (combined domestic and international passengers) year-over-year. “[Africa] results vary on a sub-regional level,” ACI said. “Western Africa showed weakness in air transport demand, due in part to the Ebola crisis. [Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport in Dakar, Senegal], one of West Africa’s busiest airports, saw traffic drop by 11.5% in October.” Yet two of Egypt’s major airports, Cairo International Airport and Hurghada International Airport, again showed major monthly leaps in passenger numbers, with 11% and 155.1% year-over-year growth, respectively.
October passenger growth was also strong at airports in the Middle East—up 7.6% year-over-year, with particular momentum at Abu Dhabi International Airport (up 17.4%) and Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv (up 10.7%)—and at airports in the Asia-Pacific, where passenger numbers were up 7.3% year-over-year, particularly at Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport (up 11.7%).
In the world’s remaining regions, passenger numbers were up 5.9% year-over at European airports; 5.4% at Latin America-Caribbean region airports; and 4.4% at North American airports.|