Global air passenger traffic rose 1.8% in February 2013, compared to the corresponding month in 2012, according to a new report from Airports Council International (ACI) World.
During the month, Asian airports were responsible for aggregate level growth in passenger traffic, with Hong Kong (HKG) and Beijing (PEK) airports reporting healthy growth of 15% and 7.3% respectively.
Both airports were among several other Asian destinations to witness a significant air freight decline in February 2013 when compared to freight traffic in February 2012.
ACI revealed that the Chinese New Year, which fell in February this year rather than January, was partly responsible for the 6.3% drop in global freight traffic and 11.8% decline in Asia-Pacific air freight.
ACI World economics director Rafael Echevarne said that with the significant slowdown in domestic passenger traffic across European and North American markets, the source of much of the growth hinges on the international traveller.
"For the most part, international travel remains unaffected, particularly with respect to international traffic across the Middle East and Asia-Pacific," Echevarne said.
During the month, the Middle East reported a rise in both passenger and freight traffic with 9% year-over-year growth respectively.
The region's key hub, Dubai Airport, reported double-digit growth in passenger and freight traffic with 11.4% and 15.9% respectively in February 2013.
"The continued growth trend through 2012 and into 2013 is evidence of this phenomenon in the face of on-going economic uncertainties," Echevarne said. "Year-over-year growth in these regions was over 10% in February."
Image: Dubai Airport reported 11.4% and 15.9% growth in passenger and freight traffic in February 2013.