More than half of the world’s top freight airports saw traffic declines last year, according to the latest figures from Airports Council International.
Total freight movements contracted 0.2 percent last year compared to 2011, with the 0.4 percent expansion in freight tonnage experienced on domestic routes overwhelmed by the 0.7 percent decrease on international lanes.
Although the world’s top air freight hubs, Hong Kong and Memphis, achieved growth of 2.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, 57 percent of the top 30 airports in terms of air freight volume experienced declines in 2012.
By contrast, global passenger traffic increased 3.9 percent year-on-year, with double-digit growth posted at leading emerging market hubs, including Istanbul, Jakarta, Dubai and Bangkok.
“Air freight had mixed results throughout 2012 with some months posting modest gains while other months posted declines,” ACI World’s Economics Director Rafael Echevarne said in a written statement. “Amid the significant downside risks in the Euro area and the fiscal deadlock in the United States throughout the year, growth in air freight came to an overall halt in 2012.”
He said he was optimistic that higher growth for both passenger and freight traffic will be achieved in 2013 as the global economy and international trade pick up steam.