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Airports in Asia Pacific End 2012 With Strong 7.1% Increase in Passenger Numbers

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According to the recently released ACI Passenger and Freight Flash Reports, Asia Pacific airports finished the year with a strong +7.1% increase in passenger numbers while the Middle East recorded a remarkable passenger traffic growth of +12.1% in 2012 compared to 2011.

Beijing (PEK) was the busiest airport in the region in 2012 handling more than 81 million passengers. Second busiest was Tokyo Haneda (HND), with 67 million passengers and the other 3 airports that follow were Jakarta (CGK), Dubai (DXB) and Hong Kong (HKG) with around 57 million passengers.

Many airports in the region have recorded double-digit growth rates in the 2012 passenger traffic due to the robust economic growth in their own countries and the rising propensity to travel in the region. These airports include Jakarta (CGK; +14.4%), Dubai (DXB; +13.2%), Bangkok (BKK; +10.6%), Singapore (SIN; +10.0%) and Seoul Incheon (ICN; +11.3%).

Air freight traffic, however, remained stagnant in 2012. A slight increase of +0.5% was recorded in the Asia Pacific region while the Middle Eastern airports showed a +4.2% increase compared to 2011.

The top 5 airports with the highest cargo throughput in the region in 2012 were Hong Kong (HKG), handling over 4 million tonnes of freight, followed by Shanghai Pudong (PVG), with 2.8 million tonnes, and then Seoul Incheon (ICN), 2.3 million tonnes, Dubai (DXB), 2.2 million tonnes and Tokyo Narita (NRT) with 1.9 million tonnes.

Despite the economic uncertainty worldwide, some airports in the region recorded double-digit growth rates in air freight traffic in 2012. These airports include Jakarta (CGK; +19.4%), Abu Dhabi (AUH; +17.7%), Manila (MNL; +11.5%), Hangzhou (HGH; +10.4%) and Riyadh (RUH ; +17.0%).

Single month passenger traffic in December 2012 for the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions was +8.1% and +11.8% higher than December 2011 respectively while air freight record was -1.2% and +3.4% respectively in the two regions.

ACI Asia Pacific Regional Director, Mrs. Patti Chau, said, “The positive results of 2012 confirmed the 2012 to 2031 Forecast recently published by ACI that the Asia Pacific region will grow at a steady 6 to 7% increase in passenger traffic until 2031. The report also forecasted global passenger traffic to grow at 4.1% per annum over the next 20 years and Asia Pacific will become the largest aviation market in the world. In 2012, we are happy to see, according to the current statistics, that Beijing has surpassed the 81 million mark in passenger traffic and is the second busiest airport in the world whereas Hong Kong has once again, become the busiest cargo airport worldwide.”

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