In July 2016, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East led global passenger traffic growth at 11.6% and 15.3% respectively. The growth momentum in both regions appears to be accelerating going into the third quarter.

In Asia-Pacific, South Korean airports have been reporting a sharp increase since June 2016 as passenger traffic recovers from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. In addition to this factor, the current month’s traffic is further strengthened by summer vacation travels boasting both international and domestic growth: Incheon (ICN) 44.4%, Busan (PUS) 9.9%, Jeju (CJU) 35.2%.

Growth in India continued to steam ahead with many major airports reporting growth in excess of 20% in July 2016. Top runners include: Chennai (MAA) 26.2%, Calcutta (CCU) 25.9% and Hyderabad (HYD) 25.8%.

While growth in India was primarily stimulated by domestic gains, growth in China was supported by significant rise in international passengers. The leading airports Kunming (KMG) 12.8%, Hangzhou (HGH) 11.6% and Shanghai Pudong (PVG) In the Middle East, Doha (DOH) and Muscat (MCT) were in leading positions reporting passenger traffic growth at 27.5% and 25.6% respectively for the month.

Regarding air freight, despite global trade growth remaining sluggish, in July 2016 Asia-Pacific and the Middle East generated increase at 4.1% and 3.3% respectively. International air freight was strong in Asia-Pacific this month at 5.3% but this was offset by a much weaker domestic air freight traffic growth at 0.8%.

Top freight hubs in the Asia-Pacific delivered solid increase for the month: Hong Kong (HKG) 4.7%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) 4.6% and Incheon (ICN) 7.9%.Among their peers, Guangzhou (CAN) 9.6% and Singapore (SIN) 9.4% generated the highest growth in the region.

The result in the Middle East was mixed, the largest hub Dubai (DXB) shrank -1.2% for the month while Doha (DOH) continued to expand at a fast pace at 20%.

The timing of Ramadan may have positively skewed this month’s traffic growth for some countries. Most of Ramadan occurred during June in 2016, but it extended into July in 2015.