2017 Marks the Best year for European Airports Since 2004

Air passenger traffic has marked the fastest growth in the last 13 years during 2017. According to a report released by European Airport Trade Association – ACI EUROPE, the air passenger traffic has seen a growth of 30 percent over the past 5 years.

The report shows the air passenger traffic at non-EU airports reached an average increase of +11.4 percent in comparison to a decrease of -0.9 percent in 2016. On the other hand, European Union airports saw passenger traffic increasing by +7.7 percent, in comparison to a 6.7 percent increase in 2016.

Airports in East and South of the European Union marked the highest growth – with airports in Croatia, Latvia, Cyprus, Estonia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Portugal recording double digit growth.

The director General of ACI EUROPE, Olivier Jankovec, said that 2017 marks the best year for European airports since 2004, when air traffic was boosted by the addition of 10 countries to the EU (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.)

“This performance comes on top of several years of dynamic growth and shows that demand for air transport keeps outperforming the economy and defying geopolitical risks – for now,” Jankovec said.

Top 5 busiest European airports in 2017:

  • London Heathrow remained the busiest European airport with 78 million passengers (+3%)
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle with 69.5 million passengers (+5.4%)
  • Amsterdam Schiphol with 68.5 million passengers (+7.7%)
  • Frankfurt, with 64.5 million passengers (+6.1%)
  • Istanbul – Ataturk with 63.9 million passengers (+5.9%)

On the other hand, the airports with the highest increases in passenger traffic reported during 2017 in comparison to 2016, are as follows:

GROUP 1: (welcoming more than 25 million passengers)

  1. Moscow SVO (+17.8%),
  2. Manchester (+8.6%),
  3. Amsterdam (+7.7%),
  4. Moscow DME (+7.6%) and
  5. Barcelona (+7.1%)

GROUP 2: (welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers)

  1. Antalya (+38.0%),
  2. St Petersburg and Warsaw WAW (+22.7%),
  3. Ankara (+20.6%),
  4. Lisbon (+18.8%) and
  5. Prague (+17.9%),

GROUP 3: (airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers)

  1. Keflavik (+28.3%),
  2. Naples (+26.6%),
  3. Kiev (+22.1%),
  4. Malta (+17.5%) and
  5. Larnaca (+16.5%)

GROUP 4: (welcoming less than 5 million passengers)

  1. Bucharest BBU (+208.9%),
  2. Nis (+167.8%),
  3. Craiova (+100.6%),
  4. Batumi (+67.2%) and
  5. Kaunas (+60.2%)

Since 2012, the number of European airports with more than 25 million passengers per year has increased from 14 to 24, which points out that the competition among larger airports and hubs has increased, the report shows.

However, Jankovec believes that this growth will slow down during 2018, since rising oil prices are affecting airlines and consolidation is now placing more market share with a handful of powerful airline groups. He foresees that Brexit might also have an impact in a slower pace of air passenger traffic.

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