World airport traffic grew by 5 per cent in 2006, with Europe and Asia accounting for 75 per cent of that growth – new report by Arthur D. Little and ATW Magazine

The "World Airport Report" is based on Arthur D. Little's comprehensive analysis of world airport traffic, which is being presented in cooperation with ATW, the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry, for the first time. The study reports that Beijing Capital International Airport added the most passengers in 2006 as throughput grew by 7.5 million. Beijing is now the world's ninth-busiest airport in terms of passengers. European and Asian airports accounted for 75 percent of global growth in 2006. North American airport traffic rose less than 1 percent. "Several major US hubs fundamentally suffered from the network rationalization effort undertaken in 2005 and 2006 by their main carriers," said Arthur D. Little Senior Manager Laurent Delarue. “With no major U.S. airlines in bankruptcy for the first time since 2002, airport traffic growth should be stronger this year.” Led by the boom in air travel in India and China, Asian airport traffic rose 9.7 percent in 2006, but that rate is expected to slow in 2007. Airports in China and India accounted for 55 percent of the passenger growth in Asia last year. The report classifies airports by three categories: intercontinental hubs, such as London Heathrow, New York JFK and Beijing, which have at least one based network airline serving numerous international long-haul destinations with connecting opportunities; continental hubs, such as Milan Malpensa and Tokyo Haneda, with at least one based network airline providing connecting opportunities to medium-haul destinations; and regional platforms, representing airports, such as Boston Logan and Paris Orly, that are not hubs. Based on these classifications, regional platforms have been the most consistent performers over the past five years, with average annual growth of 4.9 percent. In large part, this reflects the continued success of the low-cost carrier model that is already well-established in North America and Europe and is catching on in the Asia/Pacific region.

Notes for Editors

Arthur D. Little ( was founded in 1886 and is the world's first management consultancy. Today it employs more than 1,000 staff members in more than 30 offices around the world specializing in strategy and operations management, serving major corporations and organizations worldwide. Air Transport World ( is the leading monthly magazine serving the airline and commercial aircraft manufacturing and support industries. ATW is published by Penton Media. Penton Media, Inc. is the largest independent business-to-business media company in the U.S., serving more than six million business professionals every month. The company's market-leading brands are focused on 30 industries and include 113 trade magazines, 145 Web sites, 150 industry trade shows and conferences, and more than 500 information data products. Headquartered in New York City, the privately held company is owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit

Further Information

For additional information, contact Laurence Graindorge, at +33 1 55 74 29 00 or by email at: For additional information on the 2007 "World Airport Report," contact Perry Flint, editorial director of Air Transport World at 1-(301) 650-2420 x111 or e-mail