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General News Last modified on May 7, 2019

Mixed fortunes for region's airports in February as traffic rises

Passenger traffic across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East recorded moderate growth in February with monthly upturns of 2.7% and 2.5% respectively.

China posted a robust growth of around 7%, sustained by solid domestic and leisure travel demand during the Lunar New Year.

The top three airports with the most passenger volume increase from last year were: Shenzhen (SZX) +11.0%, Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) +12.7% and Beijing (PEK) +4.2%.

Meanwhile in India, passenger traffic increased by 2.2% in February although thje downward trend in the domestic sector continued, according to ACI Asia-Pacific.

plane night

It notes that passenger numbers were negatively affected by a number of factors, such as partial runway closures at Mumbai (BOM) and Bangalore (BLR), the closure of Pakistani airspace arising from India-Pakistan tensions, and flight cancellations of a major airline.

Mixed results were observed among other major airports in the country: Delhi (DEL) -3.0%, Chennai (MAA) +5.5% and Kolkata (CCU) +3.9%.

Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific, a number of airports reported strong growth likely benefited from vacation travels during the Lunar New Year. These included Seoul Incheon (ICN) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL), which reported growth of +5.3% and +3% respectively.

In the Middle East, passenger growth continued to soften, says ACI Asia-Pacific, with the region's largest hub reporting a 1.3% decline in throughput.

Bahrain (BAH) continued to report the highest growth in the region at +15.8%. Other high-growth airports in February included: Doha (DOH) +6.1%, Muscat (MCT) +9.9% and Sharjah (SHJ) +8.5%.

Cargo Shot

In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East declined at -12% and -2.9% respectively due to the ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States, uncertain global economic conditions and closure of businesses during the Lunar New Year.

Dubai (DXB) +2.0% was the only airport posting a positive growth rate among the top ten cargo hubs.

The growth, says ACI Asia-Pacific, was largely driven by the increase in transportation of perishable goods.

Other major airports that recorded positive growth rates were: Delhi (DEL) +10.2%, Mumbai (BOM) +1.0% and Manila (MNL) +2.9%.