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Airports Council International

World`s airports post mixed financial results

Airports Council International has released its sixth annual Airport Economics Survey. Covering airport operations in 2001, this authoritative publication draws on data provided by…

Airports Council International has released its sixth annual Airport Economics Survey. Covering airport operations in 2001, this authoritative publication draws on data provided by some 620 airports handling over 2.1 billion passengers. The survey documents mixed financial results for the world`s airports, with only the Asia/Pacific region experiencing traffic growth and turning a respectable profit. The other regions, particularly North America, were hit hard by the events of September 11 and a sluggish global economy. Global airport profits fell 25 percent from 2000 to just 1.5 percent of gross revenues, with a USD 1 billion aggregate loss in North America offset by a profit of the same magnitude in Asia/Pacific. Among the survey`s findings:

  • ACI member airports achieved an operating surplus (EBITDA) in excess of USD 12.6 billion on total revenue of about USD 42.2 billion, a margin of just under 30 per cent, down from 32.4 per cent in 2000.
  • Global passenger traffic declined by 2.6 per cent in 2001 compared with 2000. North America showed the greatest decrease, -6.6 per cent. Global cargo volumes fell even more: -8.1 per cent with declines in all regions. These trends broke a nearly uninterrupted 50-year period of growth in civil aviation.
  • Continued high level of investment by airports in infrastructure to accommodate the expected doubling of passenger traffic over the next 15 years. The actual level of capital expenditure for the year 2001, USD 23.3 billion, was up 30.2 per cent over 1998.
  • Non-aeronautical revenue accounted for nearly 54 per cent of total airport revenues in 2001, up from 46 per cent in 1996 and 30 per cent in 1990, and the highest figure ever recorded by ACI.
  • Airports held the line on expenses. Overall expenses per passenger fell from USD 8.53 in 1998 to USD 7.59 in 2001.

Paul Behnke, ACI`s Director, Economics and Security said: Airport operators demonstrated considerable resiliency in 2001, continuing to focus on the need to build capacity for the long term, while facing a very tough year. Uncertainty, particularly over new security regulations, continues to plague the industry, but we expect aviation to resume its historical pattern of growth within the next year or two. Aviation is simply too vital to the global economy – supporting trade, tourism and investment flows – to remain in a prolonged slump.

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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.

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