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Air travel gloom deepens as ACI reports ‘major setback’ for global passenger traffic in November – 07/01/09

Published: 06/01/09

Source: ©The Moodie Report

By Martin Moodie

INTERNATIONAL. Global air traffic experienced a major setback in November 2008, according to new figures released by Airports Council International (ACI) yesterday.

Total passenger numbers during the month were around -7.8% lower than in November 2007 and about -2% lower than in November 2006. The figures are based on 165 key airports that participate in ACI’s monthly advance reporting system.

Source: Airports Council International
International traffic, previously the driver of robust growth during the first half of 2008, decreased in November by -5.8% year-on-year. Worldwide domestic traffic dropped by -8.5% for the month (see tables).

Driven by countries in North Africa and around the Gulf States as well as Lebanon, only the Middle East (+8%) and Africa (+5%) regions recorded solid growth in international traffic for the month, compared to notable drops in Europe (-6%), North America (-4%) and Asia Pacific (-11%).

Asia Pacific’s +2% growth for domestic traffic, due to growth in China, was offset by stark declines in Europe (-15%) and North America (-12%).

ACI noted: “The countries worst hit by the fallout of battered economies are the United States, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom. Results from Thailand and India were further impacted by political protests and closure of the airport in Bangkok, and the terror attacks in Mumbai in late November.

“Spain saw domestic traffic declining further, partly because of competition with new high speed train connections, and Italian airports suffered from the uncertain future of Alitalia. South African airports registered double-digit declines in domestic traffic and fewer international passengers.”

Source: Airports Council International
The year-to-date and rolling 12-month year periods also registered negative growth compared to the same time period of the previous year, leaving only the Middle East with positive results among all the regions. The slowdowns starting in May presaged the trend, ACI said.

NOTE: The economic impacts of the current economic crisis on the airport industry will be a central topic at ACI’s first Airport Economics and Finance Conference in London on 10-11 February. A press roundtable with Angela Gittens (Director General ACI World), Olivier Jankovec (Director General ACI Europe) and Andreas Schimm (Director Economics ACI World) will be organized during the event. Registration for the conference is available on the ACI website (www.aci.aero and for further press information please contact Nancy Gautier at ngautier@aci.aero

ACI is also a partner - with The Moodie Report - in the annual ACI Airport Business & Trinity Forum. The 2009 event will take place on 23–25 September in Macau. Popularly known as The Trinity Forum, the event is the world’s leading airport commercial revenues conference. It is being hosted by CAM – Macau International Airport Company Limited.

An exciting programme is currently being developed. For programme and sponsorship details please contact ACI's Andreas Schimm at aschimm@aci.aero or The Moodie Report's Martin Moodie at Martin@TheMoodieReport.com

Source: Airports Council International
Source: Airports Council International
ABOUT ACI AND ITS PASSENGER TRAFFIC REPORTS

ACI, the only worldwide association of airports, is a non-profit organisation whose prime purpose is to represent the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. As of September 2008, ACI had 596 members which operate over 1678 airports in 177 countries and territories. Information can be found on the ACI website www.aci.aero

ACI’s PaxFlash statistics are based on a significant sample of airports that provide regular monthly reports to ACI. They represent approximately 60% of total passenger figures worldwide. The passenger traffic growth percentages are based on total passengers departing and arriving at the airport.

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