Brussels, 3 February 2011: European airports saw passenger traffic increase by +4.2% in 2010 compared to 2009. Over the same period, freight traffic increased by +18.7% while movements dropped by -0.2%.
The year ended with limited overall passenger traffic growth among European airports at +0.6% in December 2010 when compared with December 2009, as a result of both continuing economic hardship in several European countries and exceptional weather disruptions in parts of France, Germany, the UK and Ireland. The overall freight traffic increased by +6.3% in December 2010 when compared with the corresponding month in 2009. The overall figure for movements at European airports decreased by -1.1% in December 2010 when compared with December 2009.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE, commented “What we have seen in 2010 at European airports is a gradual yet incomplete air traffic recovery – not the kind of bounce back you would expect following the worst economic and financial crisis. The volcanic ash crisis took a heavy toll, but the pace of air traffic growth was also held down by a jobless economic recovery throughout most of Europe, mounting sovereign debt crises and sweeping harsh austerity measures. As a result, passenger traffic last year still stayed below 2008 levels by -1.2%, with volumes hovering underneath 2007 figures. Significantly, there was no reversal of network contraction, as airlines have yet to fully restore frequencies and destinations cut during the crisis. Only freight traffic finally managed to stage a complete recovery at +2.2% over 2008 levels.”
He added “Throughout 2010, air traffic also reflected the diverse performance of individual European economies and the impact of national aviation taxes. While Russian and Turkish airports were top of the league, almost systematically achieving double digit traffic growth - Greek, Irish and British airports found themselves at the bottom, still loosing traffic.
While the first weeks of 2011 saw strong passenger traffic growth at an increasing number of European airports, ACI EUROPE remains cautious on the outlook for the full year. The dynamic and sustainability of air traffic growth in Europe is likely to be affected by several external factors, including the ability of the EU to tackle the continent’s debt crisis, inflationary pressures and in particular further surges in oil prices as well as additional aviation taxes in Germany and Austria.
In December 2009, 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 increase/decrease of -1.2%, +1.5%, +1.4% and +3.4% respectively when compared with December 2009. The same comparison of December 2010 with December 2008 demonstrates an average increase/decrease of +1.2%, +4.1%, -0.4% and +5.8% respectively.
Examples of airports that experienced the highest increase in passenger traffic per group, when comparing December 2010 with December 2009, include:
• Group 1 airports – Barcelona (+7.9%), Munich (+6.3%), Rome FCO (+5.1%) and Amsterdam (+4.4%)
• Group 2 airports – Moscow SVO (+21.0%), Stockholm ARN (+11.4%), Copenhagen (+9.7%) and Oslo (+9.1%)
• Group 3 airports – Istanbul SAW (+23.5%), Ankara (+18.1%), Milan LIN (+10.3%), and Moscow VKO (+8.7%)
• Group 4 airports – Brindisi (+56.9%), Trieste (+29.6%), Bari (+26.6%), and Belgrade (+18.9%).
The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – December 2010’ includes 125 airports in total collectively accounting for 80% of European air traffic.