2% growth trend for January and February
The 2016 leap year and change of month of Lunar New Year impacted the total monthly change performance in January and February. After normalising for these two factors, there was 2% passenger growth at Cairns for January and February combined.
Last years leap year and lunar phases were always likely to result in a negative month but was probably weaker than expected in February down 6.8% before any adjustment. If only the Airport had discovered the leap year last February when it actually was and boosted reported results at that time. Pro-rata leap year normalised data here at Cairnseconomy/Tourism/CairnsAirport over the last year and updated for these numbers indicates a decline around 4.7% this year compared to last February (ex transits and transfers).
Despite normalisation the growth rate has been trending down with the 3 month moving average now at a two year low. It is also the lowest growth rate for the combined Jan/Feb two month period covering the lunar new year since 2010.
It will be interesting to see the March numbers which will be coming off the back of double digit growth last year.