ACI: Global passenger traffic continues to moderate in 2019; North America best-performing major market

Airports Council International (ACI) World reports that global passenger traffic grew by +2.3% in October, slightly less than the +2.6% rate recorded in September.

The figure remained in line with the moderation pattern observed since June, when growth rates for the industry began hovering between +2% and +3%. Year-to-date growth was recorded at +3% with only two months left in 2019.

Following September, during which the gap between the two seemed to narrow, international passenger growth once again outpaced the domestic market substantially in October.

International passenger growth reached +3.2% during the month, year-to-date reaching +4.2%. Domestic passenger growth was much lower, at +1.5%, bringing year-to-date to +2.1%.

North America was once again the best-performing major market in October, posting a +3.2% year-over-year growth rate. Year-to-date growth was +3.5%, in line with domestic market growth of +3.5%, which has remained relatively strong in a context where global growth is only +2.1%.

Europe only gained +2% during the period, just below the September figure of +2.1%. The region’s year-to-date growth stood at +3.4%, driven by a particularly resilient international passenger segment.

Following the general trend for most of 2019, Asia-Pacific performed the worst of the three major markets. It grew +1.1% on a year-over-year basis in October, maintaining its +1.7% year-to-date growth with two months left to the year. The region’s domestic market, with strong links to its major markets such as China, India and Japan, only gained +0.2% during the month. Now standing at +0.4% on a year-to-date basis, the segment is vulnerable to fall into negative territory by the end of the year.

Africa continued to post robust gains in October. Although the month’s +5.2% was slower than September’s +6.7%, continuing a downtrend started a few months back, its year-to-date growth remains at +6.9%, and should once again be the top-ranking region for growth in 2019.

The Middle East and Latin America-Caribbean posted relatively robust figures given the global backdrop in October, gaining +5.2% and +3.1% respectively. Year-to-date results remained subdued for the Middle East, at +2.2%, while Latin America-Caribbean stood at +3.9%, second only to Africa at this point.