Europe’s Airports are growing strong, according to ACI EUROPE’s March and Q1 Airport Traffic Report, but Brexit could still threaten stability.
The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – March & Q1 2017’ includes 232 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic and is the only air transport traffic report that covers all categories of airlines operating services to and/or from airports of all sizes.
ACI EUROPE’s reveals that during the first quarter of this year, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports grew by an average +6.9%.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE said of the results:
“The momentum for traffic growth is holding on and it may well continue to do so in the coming months. The risk of increased political instability for the EU has just receded with the results of the French elections – a very positive factor for our industry. The return of a growth dynamic for freight reflects increasing trade, business confidence and the fact that other leading indicators are showing the economy is on the up—especially in the Eurozone.”
“However, we need to be cautious in our optimism given that the wider geopolitical environment remains more unstable than ever. The on-going uncertainty over the implications of Brexit for aviation is unlikely to be resolved quickly – and this might end up limiting airline capacity growth and network development opportunities for some airports, especially in the UK,” Jankovec adds.
The EU market works for travel, and the Eastern bloc is bustling.
European airports which are part of the EU market enjoy dynamic growth with passenger traffic increasing by +7.2% during Q1.
Eleven national markets within the EU recorded double-digit growth—most of them Eastern bloc nations along with Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal.
Overall, many EU airports enjoyed dramatic growth including: Cluj (+60.1%), Sofia (+46.9%), Warsaw WAW (+28.5%), Larnaca (+26.9%), Malta (+22.1%), Bucharest-Otopeni (+21.4%), Lisbon (+21.2%), Porto (+19.9%), Krakow (+19.1%), Prague (+18.8%), Prague (+18.8%), Tallinn (+18.3%), Ljubljana (+17;5%), Budapest (+14.5%), Vilnius (+14.4%) and Luxembourg (+13.5%).
Passenger traffic at Non-EU airports grew at a slower pace but did increase during the first quarter by an average +5.9%.
EU market performance in March 2017 outperformed March 2016 (+7.4% vs. +6.4%). ACI EUROPE attributes this to increased volumes at Russian, Ukrainian and Norwegian airports—as well as to near-flat growth at Turkish airports in March (-0.3%) following months of losses.
The best performing airports among the Non-EU market for Q1 were: Keflavik (+53.7%), Rostov (+38.6%), Kiev-Borispyl (+32.2%), Novosibirsk (+27.8%), St Petersburg (+26.8%), Ekaterinburg (+20.9%), Moscow-Sheremetevo (+16.8%) and Samara (+15.6%).
Amsterdam at the lead among Top 5 Hubs
Traffic at the Top 5 European airports increased by +1.9% during Q1 which outperforms average of +1.5% during 2016.
Amsterdam-Schiphol remains at the lead among large hub airports with +8.6% growth, followed by Paris-CDG (+4.3%), London-Heathrow (+2.2%) and Frankfurt (+1.5%).
However, Istanbul-Atatürk was still down nearly 900,000 passengers (-7%).
Q1 Growth by Group
During Q1, 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 +4.3%, +9.0%, +10.0% and +9.4%.
The airports that reported the highest increases in passenger traffic are as follows:
GROUP 1: Moscow SVO (+16.8%), Manchester (+13.0%), London LGW (+10.0%), Amsterdam (+8.6%) and Oslo (+7.9%)
GROUP 2: Warsaw WAW (+28.5%), St Petersburg (+26.8%) Lisbon (21.2%), Prague (+18.8%) and Brussels (+16.7%)
GROUP 3: Keflavik (+53.7%), Kiev (+32.2%), Larnaca (+26.9%), Malta (+22.1%), Bucharest OTP (+21.4%)
GROUP 4: Bucharest BBU (+679.0%), Nis (+335.2%), Oradea (+125.0%), Mikonos (+99.1%) and Zadar (98.5%)
Freight traffic across the European airport network improved markedly during Q1 at +8% – with March posting the best monthly performance since April 2011 (+13.7%). Aircraft movements were up +3.0%.
During the month of March, average passenger growth was +6.6%. Freight reported an exceptional increase of +13.7% and movements were up +4.4%. 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 +4.1%, +11.0%, +9.2% and +8.8%.
For March, the airports which reported the highest increases in passenger traffic are as follows:
GROUP 1: Moscow SVO (+15.9%), Manchester (+10.0%), Oslo (+9.2%), Amsterdam (+8.9%), London LGW (+8.4%)
GROUP 2: Brussels (+54.9%), Warsaw WAW (+28.4%), St Petersburg (+23.1%), Lisbon (+21.9%) and Tel Aviv (+18.2%)
GROUP 3: Keflavik (+44.8%), Kiev (+30.3%), Bucharest OTP (+21.5%), Larnaca (+21.0%) and Porto OPO (+18.2%)
GROUP 4: Bucharest BBU (+1,140.4%), Foggia (+500.0%), Nis (+328.2%), Zadar (+267.0%) and Oradea (+122.9%)