Vienna: Hub in the heart of Europe

Vienna Airport surpassed the threshold of 23 million passengers in 2016 for the first time in its history. Here’s a profile of one of Europe’s most exciting airports…

Vienna Airport set three new records in 2016. In addition to its busiest ever day (16 September 2016) and the best month ever (July 2016), Vienna Airport surpassed the threshold of 23 million passengers in 2016 for the first time in its history; handling 23.4 million passengers. Thanks to the numerous destinations it serves in its region, the airport is also the leading flight hub in Central and Eastern Europe. Following on from the airport’s success, Member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG, Julian Jäger, reveals the airport’s plans for future development.

Higher passenger volumes, especially from low-cost carriers such as Eurowings and easyJet, led to a record year at Vienna Airport. The month of December 2016 was particularly strong, showing a 9.8% rise in the number of passengers. Long-haul flight service also developed well. The year 2017 will be very challenging, above all due to the restructuring of the airberlin Group. Nevertheless, we expect an increase of up to 2% in the total number of passengers handled by Vienna Airport – this is partly due to the growth impetus provided by Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and easyJet.

Vienna Airport reported a total of 23,352,016 passengers in the year 2016; an increase of 2.5% from the number of travellers it handled in the previous year. In particular, new long-haul routes, new flight connections and frequency increases on the part of the airlines, particularly in the low-cost segment, had a positive impact on passenger volume. In contrast, the crisis situations in Russia, Turkey and parts of North Africa negatively affected airport operations. In terms of traffic development, local flight traffic was the key growth driver in 2016, rising by 4.3%, whereas the number of transfer passengers fell by 2%. The number of flight movements (starts and landings) remained stable for the most part, dropping marginally by 0.2%, and capacity utilisation of the aircraft (seat load factor) fell slightly by 0.8% to 73.4%. Cargo volume (air cargo and trucking) developed positively during the course of the year, rising by 3.7% to 282,726 tonnes.

New flight offerings

China Airlines will deploy a new Airbus A350-900XWB aircraft on its three weekly flights between Vienna and Taipei. Thus China Airlines is the first airline to offer scheduled flight service to Vienna Airport on an Airbus A350. easyJet inaugurated a new flight service connecting Vienna Airport and Lyon. The British airline is offering three weekly flights to the French city, increasing the total of European cities it serves from Vienna to nine. Aeroflot, meanwhile, is providing a fourth daily route between Vienna and the Russian capital of Moscow. Thanks to this increase, the Russian airline will offer 28 weekly flights on the Vienna-Moscow Sheremetyevo route. With this additional route, the number of weekly flight connections from Vienna to Russia has risen to 69, showing that the travel destination of Russia is recovering. The increased frequencies send a strong signal for continued growth.

Five awards for service quality in one year

The ‘Best Airport Staff in Europe 2016’ award is the fifth service accolade Vienna Airport has been granted with over the past 12 months. As well as the above award, Skytrax also awarded Vienna with a ‘4 Star Airport’ ranking. The Austrian Association in Support of the Blind and Visually Impaired honoured the high level of commitment of the airport with respect to barrier-free access by bestowing the ‘Beryll Award’, while the Airports Council International (ACI) also awarded Vienna for its ‘Airport Service Quality’.

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