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Airports in AP and ME Enjoy Record Growth in 2013; Chiang Mai Up 21.7%

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According to data from ACI airports in Asia Pacific finished the year 2013 with +7.2% more passengers compared to 2012, while airports in the Middle East recorded a +10.1% year-on-year growth.

Attributing to the robust domestic economic growth and the rising propensity to travel, both international and domestic traffic in Asia Pacific continued the momentum of 2012 and gained +8.6% and +6.4% respectively.

Beijing (PEK), the busiest airport in the region, handled more than 83 million passengers, up +2.2% from 2012. Tokyo Haneda (HND) followed with 69 million, up +2.6% and the other 3 airports were Dubai (DXB) 66 million, up +15.2%, Jakarta (CGK) and Hong Kong (HKG) which welcomed more than 59 million passengers, representing +3.4% and +6.3% increase respectively.

Over 30% of the airports in the region have recorded double-digit growth in passenger traffic in 2013. The top performers were mostly smaller airports eg. Xishuangbanna (JHG, +32.1%), Chiang Mai (CNX, +21.7%) and Siem Reap (REP, +19.8%). Other airports with double-digit growth included Kunming (KMG, +24.0%), Hangzhou (HGH, +15.7%), Xiamen (XMN, +14.9%) in China; Kuala Lumpur (KUL, +19.1%), Kota Kinabalu (BKI, +18.6%), Kuching (KCH, +16.4%), Penang (PEN, +15.1%) in Malaysia; Abu Dhabi (AUH, +12.4%), Sharjah (SHJ, +12.0%) in addition to Dubai (DXB) in the United Arab Emirates.

The 2013 air freight traffic increased just slightly by +0.9% in Asia Pacific but the Middle Eastern airports continued the steady growth and recorded a +5.4% increase year-on-year.

The top 5 airports with the highest cargo throughput in the region in 2013 were Hong Kong (HKG), handling over 4.1 million tonnes of freight, followed by Shanghai Pudong (PVG)  2.8 million tonnes, Dubai (DXB) and Seoul Incheon (ICN), both handled around 2.4 million tonnes and Tokyo Narita (NRT) with 1.9 million tonnes. The throughput volumes at these airports were similar to 2012 except for Dubai (DXB) which has recorded a strong +7.4% increase.

Despite the almost flat overall increase, some airports in the region registered double-digit growth in air freight traffic in 2013, eg. the Malaysian airports of Kuching (KCH), Penang (PEN) and Subang (SZB) which recorded +39.1%, +24.7% and +15.6% respectively. In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi (AUH) outperformed the rest by handling +24.4% more cargo than 2012. Other airports with double-digit growth are Nagoya (NGO, +16.4%), Cochin (COK, +12.9%), Kunming (KMG, +11.4%), Xiamen (XMN, +11.0%) and Osaka-Itami (ITM, +10.0%).

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