Overall, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports reported a healthy increase of +4.6% compared to Q1 2013 according to ACI Europe’s most recent report.
EU airports posted +3.3% growth, with all national markets growing with the exception of Croatia, Latvia and Poland. Meanwhile, passenger traffic at non-EU airports increased by +9.2%, with Iceland, Moldova and Serbia posting impressive growth rates in excess of 20%.
For the month of March, European passenger traffic was up +2.5% compared with March 2013, while freight increased +6.0% and movements +2.7%.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE said: “These are solid air traffic figures for Europe, which reflect improving economic conditions – especially in the EU, where consumer confidence has reached pre-crisis levels and GDP growth is set to gain further momentum. Significantly, the rebound in both domestic passenger traffic (+5.8%) and freight traffic, as well as the return of dynamic passenger growth in Greece are all welcome signals that the European aviation market is finally becoming more balanced.”
He added: “The weaker performance of passenger traffic in March is primarily the result of Easter shifting from March to April this year. However, it also accounts for the impact of increasing geopolitical tensions in Russia and Ukraine, as well as softer demand in Turkey and from emerging countries outside Europe.”
Airports welcoming more than 25m passengers per year (Group 1), airports welcoming between 10 and 25m passengers (Group 2), airports welcoming between 5 and 10m passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than 5m passengers per year (Group 4) reported for Q1 2014 an average growth of +3.8%, +5.8%, +4.0% and +5.0% respectively when compared with Q1 2013.
Airports that experienced the highest increases in passenger traffic per group, when comparing March 2014 with March 2013 were:
Group 1 Airports – Moscow SVO (+11.7%), Barcelona BCN (+6.2%), Istanbul IST (+6.1%), London LGW (+5.1%) and Paris ORY (+2.8%)
Group 2 Airports – Istanbul SAW (+34.9%), St Petersburg (+14.2%), Stockholm ARN (+10.5%), Athens (+9.1%) and Lisbon (+8.3%)
Group 3 Airports – Catania (+12.1%), Lanzarote (+10.2%), Ankara ESB (+8.7%), Bergen (+7.9%) and Izmir ADB (+6.5%)
Group 4 Airports – Vatry (+63.0%) Santorini (+61.0%), Chisinau (+35.8%), Belgrade (+28.2%) and Tivat (+27.9%)