Asia Pacific airports to drive global growth

China will be home to two of the world's 10 busiest airports by 2016
China could be home to two of the world’s 10 busiest airports by 2016

The Asia Pacific could be home to five of the world’s 10 busiest airports by 2016, a new report has forecast.

According to the latest Global Market Analysis Report from OAG, available air seat capacity at airports in the region is set to surge over the coming years. OAG noted that at present only two of the world’s 10 busiest airports, in terms of seat capacity, are located in the Asia Pacific – Beijing Capital (second, 9.38 million seats) and Tokyo Haneda (fourth, 7.88m). Dubai International, which is bracketed in the Middle East region, is seventh (7.35m).

But by 2016, OAG predicts there will be five Asia Pacific airports in the top 10, with Beijing taking over from Atlanta as the world’s busiest hub. The Chinese capital is forecast to experience capacity growth of 3%, to 10.40m available seats, by 2016, overtaking Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, which is projected to grow 1% to 10.18m. Dubai is expected to surge 11% into third place, with 10.02m seats.

Other Asian airports are also set for strong growth, according to OAG. Capacity at Jakarta’s Soekharno-Hatta airport is expected to jump 13% to 9.07m seats, catapulting the Indonesian hub into fifth place, ahead of London Heathrow (+1% to 8.54). Singapore Changi (+8% to 7.92m) and Hong Kong International (+5% to 7.56m) airports will also enter the top 10, in ninth and 10th places respectively.

Asia’s projected gains will be principally at the expense of the US, which will see its share of the global top 10 slip from four to two airports. Europe is expected to see a smaller reduction, from three to two airports, thanks to the rise of Istanbul, which is forecast to surge 18% to become the world’s fourth-busiest airport (9.82m).

“We know the balance of economic power is shifting eastwards, but our three-year projection shows how dramatically Asian air transport is growing. This month, Atlanta still has a lead over Beijing of 465,000 seats, but by 2016 Beijing will have surged ahead,” commented John Grant, executive vice president of OAG.

“Furthermore, we expect to see new entrants Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong push out established leaders Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Europe’s blushes will be spared only by the extraordinary rise of Istanbul.”

The total available seat capacity at the world’s 10 busiest airports will increase almost 16% by 2016.

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