Airports report a slowing passenger traffic growth trend in June 2008, with worldwide growth at a modest 2 percent. High oil and jet fuel prices, stock market turbulences, inflation and an uncertain economic outlook have taken their toll on air traffic in June, also impacting half year figures…
Airports report a slowing passenger traffic growth trend in June 2008, with worldwide growth at a modest 2 percent. High oil and jet fuel prices, stock market turbulences, inflation and an uncertain economic outlook have taken their toll on air traffic in June, also impacting half year figures.
International traffic in June, although in previous months a strong driver of overall growth, has slowed to 3.2 percent compared to June 2007. The two largest international markets Europe and Asia-Pacific regions reported 2.4 and 0 percent increases respectively, whereas Africa and Middle East both increased by 13 percent, followed by Latin America & Caribbean region at 7 percent, North America at 5.4 increases.
The bright spots in international traffic remain Egypt and South Africa, as well as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Lebanon. Asia Pacific international traffic contracted mainly due to China, Taiwan and Japan. Bangkok (+5.1%), Singapore (+2.9%), Kuala Lumpur (+6.5%) and Hong Kong (+5.5%) still show moderate growth, but are significantly down from previous levels.
Domestic passenger traffic slowed to a 1 percent increase, and declined in Africa and Europe. A significant decrease in domestic traffic in South Africa after a carrier failure is the major factor in Africa, whereas sluggish domestic markets in Spain and the UK have dragged down numbers in Europe. Rising air fares may make cars and rail a more attractive option, and the new high speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona is taking traffic away from these two airports.
Looking at results for the first half of the year, international traffic grew by 6 percent, whereas domestic traffic shows only a marginal increase of 2 percent. The Asia Pacific region which has had one of the highest growth rates in recent years, shows tepid growth only 4 percent so far this year. Domestic figures for the first half of the year have stagnated in North America and Europe.
Mid-year results for worldwide freight show a 2 percent progression, and international freight remain positive at 5 percent. In June, however, worldwide freight traffic growth slowed significantly (-3%) compared with June 2007. The recent downward trend in air freight is very much linked to the price of oil and fuel. Domestically, air freight cannot compete with other transport modes such as road and rail. In Africa the maritime industry offers an attractive alternative to a large portion of the market, whereas in North America a slowing economy is the main factor behind stagnation.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.