The Airports Council International’s passenger traffic figures for September show a continuing trend of stabilisation, with domestic passenger traffic rising solidly.
Compared to September 2008, domestic passenger numbers globally increased by 4.4 per cent, although a decline in international traffic of 1.1 per cent mediated the total passenger growth rate to only 1.6 per cent. For the year to date, total passenger traffic is down 4.3 per cent on the same period last year.
ACI director general Angela Gittens noted that the numbers represent some good signs for the world’s airports. “The downward trend began to ease in the second quarter and now in the fourth quarter we are seeing growth. We are not just seeing ‘less worse’ results, but some clear signs of new growth in selected domestic markets.”
The ACI says that the upswing in domestic travel is being led by China, Brazil and India, while Europe and North America have remained virtually flat. Asia Pacific and the Middle East led the way in the international sector, registering rises of 6.1 and 14.3 per cent respectively, while all other regions recorded falls in international travel.
“Industry data illustrates that over the past 30 years airport traffic recovered relatively quickly from the impact of economic cycles and extraordinary events,” said Gittens. “In a prolonged economic downturn, the rebound may be less immediate, and our forecast for 2010 anticipates a conservative 2.5 percent growth for next year, with the domestic markets taking the lead.”