ASIA PACIFIC/MIDDLE EAST. Passenger traffic at Asia Pacific airports rose +7.3% year-on-year in September, but Middle Eastern airports recorded a -0.8% decline.

Asia Pacific and Middle East traffic has increased +7.3% and +5.6% respectively between January and September, according to Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific figures.

In India, ACI Asia-Pacific said year-on-year growth had been consistently maintained at above +10%, with the market stimulated by domestic travel. In September, Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport registered +11.3% growth on the back of both strong domestic and international demand. Traffic increased +31.8% and +17% at Kolkata and Bangalore Kempegowda International airports during the month.

ACI Asia Pacific reported that the general pace of growth in China continued to ease from last year. In September, passenger traffic volume was largely driven by domestic traffic increases in Hanghzhou Xiaoshan International (+18.5%) and Nanchang Changbei International (+70.3%) airports. The latter has experienced significant growth since June 2017 with the addition of many new routes and increased flight frequency. Traffic at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport increased +8.1%, putting it in third in terms of volume growth for the month.

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In the Middle East, passenger traffic showed mixed results in September. Growth softened at Dubai International due to the timing of religious holidays, ACI Asia-Pacific said, while Hamad International (-18.4%) continued to be negatively impacted by Qatar’s diplomatic situation.

Muscat International (+11.4%) and Kuwait International (+10.5%) recorded double-digit growth rates.

“For the first nine months of 2017, overall passenger traffic growth in the Asia Pacific region maintained strength while the pace of growth eased in the Middle East,” commented ACI Asia-Pacific. “Domestic travels in both India and China continued to be thriving but also showing signs of moderation. In the Middle East, airports showed divergent results year-to-date, impacted by a variety of external factors.”