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August Traffic Results Improve in All Markets
Domestic traffic set to lead recovery
The ACI "PaxFlash" report indicates that global traffic grew by a modest 0.1 percent in August as compared to August 2008. The key driver was improvement in domestic traffic, up by 2.5 percent with Asia Pacific and Latin America & Caribbean regions showing greatest improvement.

ACI Director General Angela Gittens comments on August results, "Flat is beautiful after a year of negative results. Even taking into consideration that the comparison to results in August of last year, when global traffic slowed due to the economic situation and travel restrictions in China related to security measures for the Olympic Games, the improving trend is visible.

This is good news and the trend charts indicate that a sustainable turnaround may be in the works.

"The half-yearly World Economic Outlook just published by International Monetary Fund predicts a sluggish recovery throughout 2009 and 2010, but less dire than originally anticipated due to positive signs of improvement in the west and developing countries.

Although growth is expected to be modest in western Europe, North America and Japan, the IMF indicates that emerging and developing economies are further ahead on the road to recovery, led by a resurgence in Asia. Strong growth is expected in both China and India. This is aligned with the results we are seeing in our monthly reports."

The charts included in the release show that the positive trend continues, seemingly reversing the downturn seen last year. If the positive year-to-date trend continues global annual decline will be much more moderate than expected, likely between-3% and -4%. Looking at the rolling 12 month average, the steep traffic contraction has turned the corner, softening in August. Emerging markets China, India, and Brazil are clearly pulling ahead, but mainly in domestic traffic which currently outperforms international traffic.

Europe and North America are lagging behind, as expected, as they also suffered the biggest slump in the past year. Total freight handled worldwide in August 2009 dropped by 7 percent compared to August 2008 with international freight falling by 9 percent and domestic by 4 percent. Again, the charts reflect the impact.

Due to technical difficulties, the traffic report from South Africa (ACSA) was not submitted this month. Apart from Africa, freight trends are very similar to passenger traffic improvement, with domestic freight leading and good results in China and India.

No turnaround has been seen as yet in international freight, and it is to be remembered that on a month over month comparison we are now comparing declines with declines. North America domestic freight dipped again in August. Singapore and Amsterdam are still down respectively 14 and 15 percent in international, and Japan’s Narita is down -10 percent relative to August 2008






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