Passenger traffic at airports in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions increased 8.5% and 13.2% respectively during the first half (H1) of 2012 in comparison with the same period in 2011, according to a report from Airports Council International (ACI).
Beijing airport in China handled 39.3 million passengers, while other high-performing airports Bangkok and Dubai reported 14.2% and 13.7% rises in passenger traffic respectively.
Singapore and Seoul Incheon airports’ passenger traffic increased 11.6% during the initial six months of 2012.
According to latest ACI Passenger and Freight Flash Report, Japan’s Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Narita airports both recorded a 21% year-on-year rise in H1 passenger traffic for 2012.
ACI Asia-Pacific regional director Patti Chau said that the Asia Pacific region, driven by growth in intra-regional and domestic traffic, remains resilient to the economic uncertainty that is still looming in other parts of the world.
"Many airports in the region are undergoing expansion projects or construction of new airports. This positive half-year result proves that they are going the right direction and gives confidence to government and private investors," Chau said.
During the period, Asia-Pacific airports reported a 1% decline in air cargo traffic, while airports in the Middle East reported a rise of 4.4% compared to H1 2011.
Hong Kong airport handled 1.92 million tonnes of air cargo during the period, only slightly less than that handled by Memphis airport in the US, the busiest cargo hub in the world.
During June 2012, the Asia-Pacific airports registered a 7.7% rise in passenger traffic, while airports in the Middle East region reported a 13.1% rise when compared to the same month in 2011.
In Asia-Pacific, Beijing recorded the highest passenger throughput in June with 6.7 million passengers, followed by Tokyo Haneda with 5.2 million, while Jakarta just surpassed the five million passengers mark to come in third.
Dubai and Hong Kong both handled more than 4.6 million passengers in June 2012.
Air cargo traffic at Asia-Pacific airports rose 1.7% during the month, while Middle Eastern airports reported a 9.2% rise when compared to the same period in 2011.
Hong Kong handled the highest cargo throughput, with 334,000t in June, followed by Shanghai Pudong, Seoul Incheon, Dubai and Tokyo Narita airports in the top category.
Image: With 1.92 million tonnes of air cargo handled during H1 2012, Hong Kong International Airport now ranks just behind Memphis International Airport as an air cargo hub. Photo: courtesy of Meelosh.