Asia-Pacific and Middle East airports enjoyed 2016 cargo boost

Asia-Pacific and Middle East airports continued their “overall growth trajectory” for airfreight volumes in 2016, according to December and full year regional statistics released by Airports Council International (ACI).
Cargo throughputs at airports in Asia-Pacific and Middle East grew 10.9% and 10.4% respectively in December 2016, with full year increases of 4.5% for Asia-Pacific and a rise of 5.8% in the Middle East.
ACI said that December’s growth in Asia-Pacific cargo traffic was largely driven by increased demand for the “year-end rush in perishables, electronics and e-commerce”.
It added that the top three freight hubs all delivered “robust increases” in December: Hong Kong (HKG) +11.3%, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) +14.3% and Seoul Incheon (ICN) +13.8%.
In the Middle East, major airfreight hubs continued to report significant gains during the year end month, especially in Doha (DOH) +22.6% and Dubai (DXB) +5.4%.
Said ACI: “For the year 2016, overall airfreight growth in Asia-Pacific recovered steadily from June and accelerated gradually towards year end. The increase was driven mainly by international airfreight demands.
“In the Middle East, after a slow third quarter, overall airfreight growth picked up in the fourth quarter. Doha (DOH) remained the bright spot where robust monthly growth was consistently above 20% in the fourth quarter.”
Airport cargo volume statistics for January 2017 continue to trickle in, with Dubai International Airport (DXB) recording a 3.4% rise in airfreight throughput to 208,271 tonnes, compared with 201,483 tonnes in the same month of 2016.
Dubai, the home hub for Emirates SkyCargo’s bellyhold operations, was the sixth largest cargo airport in 2016, registering a 3.4% increase to just under 2.6m tonnes.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) achieved “steady growth” in all air traffic categories in the first month of 2017. Cargo traffic at the world’s top airfreight hub in 2016 at 4.6m tonnes, registered a January 2017 increase of 3.1% over last year to reach 372,000 tonnes.

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