Mideast passenger traffic grows 3pc


Passenger traffic in the Middle East grew by three per cent in February this year but aircraft movement fell by three per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the Airport Council International (ACI).

Cargo movement showed a four per cent growth, an ACI survey of over 700 airports found.

Over 92.90 million passengers moved across the Middle East in February 2002, out of 223.31 million worldwide, while 1.96 million metric tonnes of cargo were moved across the region's airports, out of the 4.63 million metric tonnes globally.

The number of aircraft movements declined to 56,126 in the region, out of 4.4 million in the world.

In the same month, Dubai and Sharjah also featured among the world's top 30 airports in cargo handling.

While Dubai ranked 22nd with 53,183 tonnes, Sharjah was the 30th largest by handling 39,955 tonnes in February.

Results from over 700 airports worldwide show passenger traffic fell by five per cent, cargo seven per cent and aircraft movement five per cent compared to the same period last year.

For the first two months of 2002, passenger traffic was down eight per cent, cargo five per cent and aircraft movement six per cent.

However, Asia-Pacific showed a higher growth, about seven per cent, in passenger traffic compared to Africa with one per cent and double-digit declines in North America at 11 per cent and Latin America/Caribbean 10 per cent. Traffic in Europe was down six per cent.

Robust growth was reported in Beijing with 40 per cent and Hong Kong 15 per cent.

Passenger traffic also rose by seven per cent in Bangkok, five per cent in Tokyo Haneda, four per cent in Singapore and one per cent in Philadelphia.

Cargo handled grew by four per cent in the Middle East and 10 per cent in Africa. It was down in Latin America/Caribbean by 20 per cent, North America by 10 per cent, Europe by six per cent and Asia-Pacific by four per cent.

Aircraft movement declined in the Middle East by three per cent, Europe seven per cent, North America five per cent and Latin America/Caribbean by eight per cent, but rose in Asia-Pacific by one per cent, according to the survey.