Airports Council International (ACI) released the September 2016 traffic report for Asia-Pacific and Middle East. In September 2016, Asia-Pacific and Middle East delivered passenger traffic increase at 9.8% and 11.9% respectively. For the year-to-date, both Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew 10%.

In Asia-Pacific, domestic passenger travels continued to stimulate growth in India. Many airports reported growth in excess of 20% in September 2016 year over year. Top runners include Calcutta (CCU) with 29.8%, New Delhi (DEL) with 24.1% and Hyderabad (HYD) with24%.

In China and South Korea, growth in the current month was largely driven by gains in international passengers. Nanjing (NKG) led growth in China at 19.5% whereas Busan (PUS) and Seoul Incheon (ICN) led in South Korea at around 20%. In Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (KUL) appeared to be gaining momentum and delivered an increase of 15.4% in September 2016 recovering from a period of slow growth since 2014.

In the Middle East, Doha (DOH) and Muscat (MCT) were in leading positions reporting passenger traffic increase at 22.6% and 17.1% respectively for the month. The largest hub in the region, Dubai (DXB) also generated double-digit growth at 10.3%.

After the slowing down of growth in August 2016, global airport passenger traffic increased 6.3% in September 2016, Airports Council International (ACI) reported. International passenger traffic grew faster than the domestic segment for the same period, 6.9% versus 5.9% respectively. Total passenger traffic grew 5.6% for the first nine months of 2016 year over year.

For the first nine months in 2016, overall passenger traffic growth in both Asia-Pacific and the Middle East remained strong. With both India and China pushing to expand connectivity in domestic and international markets, and low cost carriers continue to stimulate demand in various markets. ACI said that these give signs of optimism for the sector heading into the last quarter of 2016 against the backdrop of fragile economic conditions.

Regarding air freight, despite global trade growth remaining weak, in September 2016 Asia-Pacific generated robust growth at 6.7% whereas the Middle East increased at 3.1%. For the year-to-date, Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew 2.5% and 4.1% respectively.

In Asia-Pacific, the surge in volume in September was contributed in part by the strengthening of international freight market, and one-time factor such as the release and replacement of mobile devices such as the iPhone 7 and Galaxy Note 7. The top three freight hubs all delivered robust increase, Hong Kong (HKG) with 7.2%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) with 7.4% and Seoul Incheon with 8.1%.

The results in the Middle East were mixed in September 2016, air freight volumes at the largest hub Dubai (DXB) shrank 1% while Doha (DOH) continued to expand at a fast pace at 16.3%.

For the first nine months of 2016, overall air freight growth in Asia-Pacific improved gradually, especially in the third quarter where the sector experienced strong international air freight demand. On the other hand, the signals were mixed in the Middle East, while some markets appeared to be slowing down gradually for instance in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar remained a bright spot where robust growth continued to be observed.