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European airports see best August performance this century

Posted 10 October 2017 · Add Comment

European airport trade body ACI EUROPE today released its air traffic report for August, showing passenger traffic at Europe's airports grew by +8.7% - slightly less than in July (+9.6%) but still broadly in line with the dynamic trend of the previous months, realising the best August performance so far this century.

The easing in passenger traffic growth over the preceding month was mainly attributable to slower - but still impressive - growth at non-EU airports, with volumes increasing by +14.2% (+17.5% in July). Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian airports continued to make significant gains, along with airports in Israel, Georgia and Iceland. As a result, the performance of Keflavik and Tbilisi airports has been particularly impressive, with both airports reporting an increase in passenger numbers of over +60% in the past 2 years.

Meanwhile, EU airports maintained an almost consistent pace in passenger traffic growth at +7.2% (+7.6% in July). As in previous months, airports in the less mature aviation markets east of the bloc tended to outperform, along with Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus – with most of these airports achieving double digit growth.  

Passenger traffic growth at the Majors (the Top 5 European hubs) also softened somewhat in August at +5.5% (+6.3% in July). Istanbul-Atatürk kept leading the league (+10.6%), resulting in the airport regaining the 4th position in terms of monthly volumes ahead of Frankfurt. Amsterdam-Schiphol posted the second best performance at (+6%), followed by Paris-CDG and Frankfurt (both at +5%) and capacity constrained London-Heathrow (+1.9%).

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “August confirmed the return of sustained passenger traffic growth in both Russia and Turkey. The good news is that this is not about traffic shifting back at the expense of other markets in Western and Southern Europe. EU airports continue to report very dynamic growth – at a level that is impressive for such a mature market.”

He added “While the macroeconomic environment remains the best in years, we are probably going to see some further softening of passenger traffic growth in the coming months. The woes of Ryanair are already taking their toll and the impact of the bankruptcies of Alitalia, Air Berlin and Monarch has yet to unfold. It is doubtful that the full extent of the capacity offered by these airlines will remain in the market.”

Freight traffic across the European airport network remained consistent with the previous month, coming in at +10.9%. Aircraft movements also remained robust at +4.1%.  

During August, airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1), airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers (Group 2), airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Group 4) reported an average adjustment +5.1%, +13.5%, +9.3% and +9.8%.

The airports that reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during August are as follows:

GROUP 1:     Moscow SVO (+19.6%), Istanbul IST (+10.6%), Manchester (+7.9%), Oslo (+7.1%) and Dublin (+6.6%)

GROUP 2:     Antalya (+55.3%), Ankara (+30.7%), Warsaw WAW (23.9%), St Petersburg (+21.2%) and Prague (+17.5%)

GROUP 3:     Naples (+25.6%), Toulouse-Blagnac (+23.1%),  Keflavik (+20.7%), Kiev (+16.8%) and Catania (+15.5%)

GROUP 4:     Grenoble (+4,586.7%), Kaunas (+230.7%), Bucharest BBU (+218.5%), Nis (+155.3%) and Craiova (+141.1%)

The 'ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report - August 2017’ includes 254 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic. It is the only industry report that includes all types of civil aviation passenger flights: full service, low cost and charter.

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