Hong Kong – Passengers traveling through the Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airports in June grew by +7.9% and +3.3% respectively compared to the same period last year. For the first half of 2017 (H1), Asia-Pacific passenger traffic grew by +8.1% and the Middle East +7.2%.
In China, domestic passenger travels delivered strong results in June, though the overall pace of international passenger travels appeared to be moderating after a period of rapid expansion in 2016. Shijiazhuang (SJW) +27.5% and Tianjin (TSN) +22.9% continued to expand at a fast pace recording substantial increase from last year.
In India, while the pace of increase in domestic passenger traffic continued to ease, overall growth in June sustained at above 15%. Majority of reporting airports generated double-digit growth from last year, driven by small to medium sized airports led by: Bhubaneswar (BBI) +40.1%, Guwahati (GAU) +34.9% and Calcutta (CCU) +32%.
In the Middle East, passenger traffic showed mixed results. Qatar’s diplomatic crisis with a number of neighbouring states in June resulted in airspace blockade against Qatar, consequently passenger traffic at Doha (DOH) suffered a decline of -14.6%. Elsewhere in the region, Kuwait (KWI) +19.3% and Muscat (MCT) +17.5% continued to grow at a fast pace. The largest hub in the region Dubai (DXB) reported moderate growth at +3.9% as a result of Ramadan falling in June, a traditionally slow month.
Overall in the first half of 2017, passenger traffic growth maintained strength. Domestic travel business in both India and China continued to be thriving but beginning to show signs of moderation. In the Middle East, airports showed divergent results year-to-date, impacting by a variety of external factors.
In terms of air freight, Asia-Pacific grew +8.8% while the Middle East grew +1.6% in June. For the year-to-date, the two regions gained 10.1% and 6.6% respectively from last year.
Exports continued to drive strong air freight growth in the Asia-Pacific in June: Hong Kong (HKG) +11.4%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +14.8% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +5.1%. In the Middle East, the pace of growth continued to soften and many airports recorded a contraction this month. The largest hub in the region, Dubai (DXB) declined -4.7%. Doha (DOH) was the exception, delivering growth of +17% for the month.