Internet Travel Monitor - Travel Industry News
April 11, 2018
ACI World Releases Preliminary 2017 World Airport Traffic Rankings
Passenger traffic: Indian and Chinese airports major contributors to growth
Air cargo: Volumes surge at major hubs as trade wars threaten
Demand has continued its robust year-on-year growth across the world's major airports both in terms of passenger numbers and air cargo. Passenger traffic at the world's 20 busiest airports grew by 5.2% in 2017. With almost 1.5 billion passengers passing through their terminals in 2017, this group of 20 represents 17% of global passenger traffic.
Air cargo volumes at the 20 busiest airports grew by 6.8% in 2017. These airports handled a combined 51 million metric tonnes of cargo. This represents 43% of global air cargo volumes.
A strengthened economy in the United States (US), together with an increase in global industrial production, and a strong US dollar have boosted inbound air cargo markets in recent years. Key air cargo centers, such as Chicago – O'Hare (ORD), experienced growth of 12.6% for 2017. The airport, which has significantly expanded its air cargo facilities, is centrally located geographically serving regional manufacturing within an intermodal transport network. The airport has also benefitted from international trade with China and other Asian countries. ORD's international freight volumes increased by 12.2% in 2017.
Global summary: Preliminary year-over-year growth for 2017, compared to 2016
"The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world's airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term," said Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. "The world's airports continue to be a vital link in the economic multiplier effect that aviation provides and the role it plays as an enabler for global commerce is growing".
"The universal access to online retail and e-commerce platforms represents a competitive pressure to the traditional brick and mortar retail shops in certain markets but the huge growth in e-commerce has fuelled the air cargo side of the airport business. This has resulted in increased global activity, especially in major markets such as China and the US."
Gittens added, "The spectre of uncertainty regarding trade policy among major economies comes at a time when global commerce and our industry has recently thrived. The trans-pacific link, for instance, is an important ingredient in boosting international passenger traffic and international freight volumes".
"Connecting people, business and places still remains paramount to the aviation sector despite the recent threats of a step backwards in market liberalization in some major economies," Gittens concluded.
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