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European airport traffic robust through difficult 2011

Written by Charlotte Smith
Friday, 03 February 2012 12:28

According to airport trade body, ACI EUROPE, passenger traffic recorded at European airports during 2011 remained comparatively robust (freight traffic declined during the second half of 2011). The overall passenger traffic saw an increase of +7.3% compared with 2010.

When adjusted to compensate for the impact of the 2010 volcanic ash crisis and exceptionally harsh winter conditions, 2011 passenger traffic grew by +5.2%.

 

The overall figure for movements at European airports was +4.1% in 2011 when compared with 2010.

 

‘RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF DIFFICULT ECONOMIC CLIMATE’

Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE said “With Europe’s airports welcoming more than 100 million additional passengers in 2011 compared with the previous year, air traffic has once again shown its resilience in the face of a difficult economic climate.

 

“This performance hides a significant divide between EU and non-EU airports, with the latter growing twice as much. However, it is worth noting that in almost all EU markets, the growth in passenger traffic strongly outperformed GDP growth, allowing many airports to post record passenger volumes.

 

“This is clear evidence of the dynamism of airports as vital economic assets. Airports are the ones that deliver external trade and the associated growth opportunities to their communities – all too relevant at the moment.”

 

Commenting on the 2012 outlook, Jankovec added: “The odds are that 2012 will be a different story. Economies have come to a stand-still in many parts of Europe with the sovereign debt crisis, which is also having a ripple effect on growth prospects elsewhere.

 

AIRLINE CAPACITY REMAINS A CONCERN

“This will affect demand for air transport. At the same time, fuel costs and national aviation taxes are going to limit airlines’ willingness to add capacity – a serious concern, especially for regional airports. Moreover, the cost of buying emissions permits under the EU ETS has started to be reflected in airlines’ fares.

 

“This will also weigh on their network decisions, as evidenced by AirAsia X’s recent move out of Europe.”

 

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 2011 increase of +7.6%, +7.5%, +6.2% and +7.6% respectively when compared with the Full Year figures for 2010.

The same comparison of Full Year 2011 with Full Year 2009 demonstrates an average increase of +11.5%, +13.4%, +10.5% and +11.2% respectively.

 

DECEMBER TRAFFIC +8.3%

In terms of traffic results for the month of December 2011, the overall passenger traffic saw an increase of +8.3% compared with December 2010 while freight traffic among European airports remained flat (0.0%) in the same comparison.

 

The overall figure for movements at European airports was +4.4% in December 2011 when compared with 2010. These figures however are inflated by the impact of the operational disruptions, which occurred due to exceptionally harsh winter conditions in December 2010.

 

Examples of airports that experienced the highest increases in passenger traffic per group, when comparing December 2011 with December 2010:

 

GROUP 1 Airports – Istanbul IST (+22.3%), London LGW (+19.7%), Barcelona BCN (+16.9%), London LHR (+14.7%) & Moscow DME (+13.7%)

 

GROUP 2 Airports – Helsinki HEL (+26.6%), Moscow SVO (+23.8%), Antalya (+21.8%), Berlin TXL (+6.3%) & Geneva (+16.9%)

 

GROUP 3 Airports – Edinburgh (+25.0%), Tenerife TFS (+17.2%), Kiev (+16.6%), Glasgow GLA (+16.4%) & Venice (+14.2%)

 

GROUP 4 Airports – Bourgas (+270.2%), Monaco (+65.7%), Vilnius (+64.3%), Tallinn (+38.0%) & Tivat (+34.5%)

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