Aug 2019: Passengers up 1.6% in Asia-Pacific and 1.7% in the Middle East
- 04 Nov 2019
Passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East recorded growth in August at +1.6% and +1.7% respectively.
The overall passenger traffic growth in China this month was negatively impacted by adverse weather conditions in eastern China and mass flight cancellations at many airports. The pace of growth in the domestic sector remained solid, whereas international demand was steady. Hong Kong (HKG) suffered a significant decline in passenger traffic of -12.4% due to civil unrest and flight cancellations over two days. As a result, some traffic was diverted to nearby airports, which possibly contributed to some of the growth of +9.3% in Shenzhen (SZX) and +6.4% in Guangzhou (CAN).
In India, passenger traffic grew marginally as capacity in both domestic and international sectors continued to adjust following the service suspension of Jet Airways. A number of airports benefited from the capacity expansion of a local carrier and recorded sizable growth in passenger volume: Cochin (COK) +64.4%, Ahmedabad (AMD) +10.6% and Hyderabad (HYD) +4.9%. The growth of Cochin (COK) was also partly driven by the suspension of flights for two weeks in August 2018 as a result of major flooding at the airport.
Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, a number of airports in Southeast Asia posted strong growth due to a surge in vacation travels during the summer holiday period: Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK) +4.6%, Manila (MNL) +7.2% and Kuala Lumpur (KUL) +6.7%.
In the Middle East, passenger traffic growth slowed to +1.7% amid rising geopolitical tensions. Nevertheless, mixed results were recorded among major airports in the region: Dubai (DXB) -1.8%, Doha (DOH) +11.7% and Abu Dhabi (AUH) +0.9%.
In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East declined at -6.8% and -5.9% respectively as trade tensions between the US and China intensified. Hong Kong (HKG), the largest air freight hub in the world, declined at -11.9% due to flight cancellations. Among the major air freight hubs, only Guangzhou (CAN) and Shenzhen (SZX) managed positive growth, growing at +2.3% and +7.2% respectively.