ACI confirms global bounce back

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Airfreight rebounded after almost three years of stagnating growth, according to preliminary data released by the Airports Council International (ACI).

Global volumes ended the year in December with an increase of 5.6 per cent that month and in 2014 it rose by 4.7 per cent. International freight was up 5.7 per cent and domestic freight increased by 2.6 per cent in 2014, compared to 2013.

ACI says: “Despite the uneven recovery in the global economy, there is a net increase in global demand for foreign goods and commodities.

“This helped awaken the airfreight market in the last quarter of 2013 and into 2014 after several years of flat growth. The overall flow of exports and imports by sea, land and air, measured by world trade volumes in goods, has experienced a rising growth trend.”

The airport trade body says the market with the highest growth rate was the Middle East, with 11.8 per cent. In Dubai, the combined aggregate of Dubai International and Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central saw a 17.8 per cent uplift.

Volume at Abu Dhabi Airport rose by 12.8 per cent and Hamad International Airport was up 13.2 per cent.

Asia Pacific continues to grow despite a slowdown, remaining relatively strong at 5.7 per cent, which ACI attributes to stronger external demand and export growth. Hong Kong International Airport grew by 6.1 per cent, while Shanghai Pudong Airport and Incheon International Airport, had increases of 8.6 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

The African market grew by 3.8 per cent in 2014 and the notable fluctuations were at Cairo, which rose by eight per cent, and Johannesburg (South Africa), which declined 6.4 per cent. ACI says the European market is in, “recovery mode,” as growth was 3.6 per cent, but adds: “More obstacles may be on the horizon due to the geopolitical concerns in Eastern Europe and the risk of another euro area crisis.” Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, were up 6.7 per cent and 11.6 per cent respectively. Frankfurt Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, grew by 1.8 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

Figures were mixed for countries in the Latin America-Caribbean region, and the market dropped by 0.4 per cent. North America grew 3.5 per cent, driven by the economic turnaround in the US. Memphis International Airport increased cargo by 2.8 per cent and at Chicago O’Hare International Airport it surged 11.4 per cent. ACI World’s economics director, Rafael Echevarne, comments: “The recent cyclical slowdown in emerging markets has translated into lower growth levels with respect to…airfreight traffic. The advanced economies of Europe and North America have rebounded in 2014, which resulted in a form of convergence in growth rates across the regions.”

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