5/12/2014 8:41:24 AM
Global passenger traffic grew modestly by 2.4% for the month of March, which is slightly below the 12-month average of over 4%.
International passenger traffic contributed to the slowing growth since the increase in passengers was more subdued at 1.8% for the month. The only region to post strong gains was the Middle East, where growth reached 6.2% year over year. The region as a whole leads all other regions in the first quarter of 2014 in terms of growth, reaching an 8.6% increase in passenger traffic for the first three months. Dubai (DXB) is ranked as the third-busiest airport for the first quarter of 2014 with growth of 11.4% year over year.
Domestic passenger markets performed a bit better than the international market, achieving growth of 2.9% overall on the month. Although the world's largest domestic market, North America, grew only slightly for March (1.6%), European domestic passenger traffic showed a strong recovery with growth of 6.2%. Latin America-Caribbean also experienced robust growth of 7.1% in domestic passenger traffic brought on primarily by the Carnival season in the Brazilian market.
After three sluggish years in freight traffic growth, global air freight markets resurged in the first quarter of 2014. Growth in air freight volumes rose by 3.2% in the first quarter and by 3.9% for the month of March. The resurgence is largely attributable to strong growth at many Asia-Pacific airports in the first three months of 2014. Hong Kong (HKG), Shanghai (PVG) and Incheon (ICN) achieved robust growth of 5.6%, 6.9% and 6.1% respectively. European airports also contributed to the first quarter recovery, growing by 5% as compared to the first quarter in 2013.