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Iata. Steady passenger traffic growth of 6.7% at Europe’s airports during H1

Freight growth fading, but aircraft movements still up

European airport trade body, ACI EUROPE today released its air traffic report for June, Q2 & H1, revealing that during the first half of this year (H1), passenger traffic at Europe’s airports grew by an average +6.7%.

Growth dynamic continuing, but at two speeds

Passenger traffic in the less mature non-EU market increased by +10.5% - nearly twice the expansion rate of the EU market: +5.4%. Both markets saw the growth dynamic recede slightly in Q2 over Q1 – from +12.5% to +9.4% at non-EU airports and from +6.2% to +4.9% at EU airports.

In the EU, airports in the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia achieved double digit growth. Meanwhile, airports in Sweden posted to the lowest growth within Europe (+1.5%), due to the combination of the new national aviation tax introduced last April, the bankruptcy of regional airline Nextjet and lower outbound demand in the wake of local currency hitting its lowest value in years. Sweden became the only European market losing passenger traffic in June (-0.4%), with its new aviation tax among the factors leading to the improved performance of airports in neighbouring Denmark (+5.7%).

In the non-EU market, passenger traffic grew in excess of +15% at airports in Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia and Israel and Iceland.

Majors improving & secondary hubs/medium sized airports outperforming

 The Majors (Europe’s Top 5 busiest airports) recorded a passenger traffic increase of +6.3% in H1 – a notable improvement over their 2017 performance (+4.3%). Istanbul-Atatürk topped the league in terms of growth (+12.9%), followed by Frankfurt (+9.1%). Amsterdam-Schiphol also reported robust growth (+5.4%), followed by Paris-CDG (+3.0% - whose performance was impacted by repeated strikes at Air France), and capacity constrained London-Heathrow (+2.6%).

Stronger growth focused mainly on secondary & smaller hubs as well as selected medium sized & larger regional airports – reflecting ever evolving competitive dynamics largely driven by Low Cost Carriers and non-EU Full Service Carriers. These airports include: Istanbul-SAW (+12.4%), Lisbon (+12.9%), Milan-Malpensa (+11.1%), Athens (+11.4%), Tel Aviv (+13.1%), Helsinki (+12%), Moscow-Vnukovo (+19.8%), Warsaw (+14.8%), Prague (+10.3%), Budapest (+14.8%), Naples (+24.7%), Keflavik (+15.6%), Valencia (+20.2%), Krakow (+17.8%), Malta (+16.3%), Sevilla (+26.9%), Palermo (+16.9%), Nantes (+14%) and Heraklion (+14.2%).

Freight growth fading, but aircraft movements still up

Freight traffic increased by just +3.3% during H1 – due to a deceleration in Q2 (+2.1%) compared to Q1 (+4.5%). Freight traffic growth in the EU was +2.4% - down from +3% in Q1.

Aircraft movements were up +3.6%, with airlines still deploying significant capacity into the market and little variations between Q1 and Q2.

TOP 5s during H1

 During H1, 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 +6.1%, +6.6%, +7.9% and +7.5%.

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

Group 1: Antalya (+25.2%), Moscow SVO (+13%), Lisbon & Istanbul IST (+12.9%), Istanbul SAW (+12.4%) and Frankfurt (+9.1%)

Group 2: Ankara (+29.6%), Moscow VKO (+19.8%), Kiev (18.3%), Warsaw WAW & Budapest (+14.8%) and Tel Aviv (+13.1%)

Group 3: Sevilla (+26.9%), Naples (+24.7%), Valencia (+20.2%), Riga (+18.2%) and Krakow (+17.8%)

Group 4: Foggia (+48.5%), Batumi (+45.5%), Poznan (+39.7%), Varna (+37.1%) and Lublin (33.2%)

TOP 5s during June

During the month of June, average passenger growth was +6.8%. Freight reported an increase of +1.6% and movements were up +3.3%. 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 +6.8%, +6.2%, +5.9% and +8.8%.

For June, the airports which reported the highest increases in passenger traffic are as follows:

Group 1: Antalya (+28.1%), Moscow SVO (+15.3%), London STN (+11.3%), Frankfurt (+9.8%) and Lisbon (+9.6%)

Group 2: Moscow VKO (+18.2%), Kiev (+17.8%), Ankara (+17.0%), Warsaw WAW (+14.5%) and Budapest (+13.0%)

Group 3: Sevilla (+24.7%), Keflavik (+17.1%), Riga (+15.6%), Malta (+14.7%) and Palermo (+14.3%)

Group 4: Targu Mures (+845.9%), Maribor (+354.8%), Taranto (+181.2%), Kutaisi (+56.6%) and Bucharest (+49.3%)

The 'ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – June, Q2 & H1 2018’ includes 239 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.

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© AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl