January airport traffic points to grim outlook for 2013

Posted: 6 March 2013 | ACI EUROPE | No comments yet

ACI EUROPE released its traffic results for January, providing the first indication of traffic trends for the year ahead…

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European airport trade body, ACI EUROPE today released its traffic results for January, providing the first indication of traffic trends for the year ahead.

The overall passenger traffic at Europe’s airports saw a decrease of -1.6% compared to January 2012. EU airports saw a harsher decrease, averaging -3.8%, while passenger traffic at non-EU airports reported an average +6.8% growth. Aircraft movements reported a decrease of -4.8%, of which -1% can be attributed to the impact of the severe winter weather which affected parts of Europe towards the end of the month.

The negative figures for passenger traffic and aircraft movements contrast with the first positive figure for freight in nearly 2 years. Freight traffic reported growth of +1.9%. However, this only reflects a partial recovery from the extremely low freight traffic registered in January 2012. Overall freight traffic remains well below 2011 levels.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “January was a difficult start to the year for many airports in Europe – especially in the EU market where nearly 80% of airports saw their passenger traffic declining. Even most of the usually resilient EU hubs lost traffic, while the recession at regional airports is getting nasty. On the face of it, this is looking like at another 2009-style dip.”

He added “Apart from the continued dynamism of non-EU markets mainly led by Turkey and Russia, the relative improvement in freight traffic is a welcome signal. It is consistent with suggestions that GDP in the EU is now bottoming out, with external demand expected to lead a pick-up in economic activity in the months ahead. If domestic demand follows, we could then see passenger traffic improving towards the end of the year.”

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 of -0.9%, -0.7%, +1.5% and -6.6% respectively when compared with the Full Year figures for 2012.

Examples of airports that experienced increases in passenger traffic per group, when comparing January 2013 with January 2012:

  • GROUP 1 Airports – Istanbul IST (+18.7%), Moscow DME (+13.3%), Moscow SVO (+8.7%), London LHR (+0.3%).
  • GROUP 2 Airports – Istanbul SAW (+10.3%), St Petersburg (+8.8%), Berlin TXL (+4.6%), Nice (+4.2%), Manchester (+3.4%).
  • GROUP 3 Airports – Bucharest (+49.3%), Warsaw WAW (+10.9%), Izmir (+8.5%), Ankara (+6.9%), Charleroi (+6.8%).
  • GROUP 4 Airports – Arad (+4,984.4%), Chita (+69.9%), Vilnius (+35.4%), Ostend (+34.7%), Vatry (+24.1%).

The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – January 2013’ includes 169 airports in total representing approximately 88% of European air passenger traffic.

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