Asia-Pacific airports showed a remarkable rebound from 2011 and recorded a strong +8.5% increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year. The Middle East outperformed other regions in the world with an enviable growth of +13.2% year-on-year in passenger traffic, according to the latest ACI Passenger and Freight Flash Reports.
Beijing (PEK) handled more than 39.3 million passengers in the first half of the year and is the second busiest airport in the world after Atlanta (ATL). Major international hubs in the region such as Bangkok (BKK) recorded an increase of +14.2%, Dubai (DXB), +13.7% while Singapore and Seoul Incheon handled +11.6% more passengers in the first 6 months of 2012 comparing to the same period in 2011.
It is also encouraging to see a strong rebound in the Japanese airports. Osaka Kansai (KIX) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) both recorded over +21% year-on-year increase in the first half of 2012.
Just looking at the passenger traffic for June 2012, it is a continuation of a strong and steady growth. An increase of +7.7% was recorded in the Asia-Pacific area and +13.1% in the Middle East area. Once again, Beijing (PEK) topped the list as the airport in the region with the highest passenger throughput, with over 6.7 million passengers. Tokyo Haneda (HND) came second, with over 5.2 million while Jakarta (CGK), just crossing the 5 million mark, was ranked third. The other 2 airports in the top 5 were Dubai (DXB) and Hong Kong (HKG), both handled over 4.6 million passengers in June 2012.
In terms of air cargo traffic, after being in the negative territory for 2 consecutive months, AsiaPacific airports recorded a slight increase of +1.7% in June 2012 compared to June 2011. Middle Eastern airports continue to do well in air cargo with a +9.2% year-on-year increase during the month.
Hong Kong (HKG), once again, is the airport in the region with the highest cargo throughput, with over 334,000 tonnes in June 2012. Same as last month, Shanghai Pudong (PVG), Seoul Incheon (ICN), Dubai (DXB) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) remain to be the other 4 airports in the top 5 busiest cargo airports in the region.
Summariszing the air cargo traffic for the first half of 2012, there is a slight decrease of -1.0% in the Asia-Pacific airports when comparing to the same period last year but the Middle East area remains resilient to the economic downturn and recorded an increase of +4.4%. While Memphis (MEM) is still the busiest cargo hub in the world, Hong Kong (HKG) is only slightly behind with a throughput of 1.92 million tonnes of air cargo in the first 6 months of 2012.
ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Director Mrs. Patti Chau commented: “Our region went through a challenging year in 2011 and it is encouraging to see a strong rebound in the passenger traffic in the first 6 months of 2012. Driven by the growth in intra-regional and domestic passenger traffic, the region remains resilient to the economic uncertainty that is still looming in other parts of the World.”
“Many airports in the region are undergoing expansion projects or construction of new airports, this positive half-year result proves that they are going the right direction and gives confidence to government and private investors.” Mrs. Chau added.