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Exceptional growth in passenger traffic in April fuelled by strong demand

European airport trade association, ACI EUROPE today releases its traffic report for April 2017 – the latest indication of airport traffic performance in Europe. 

European airport traffic rises but freight remains sluggish

Average passenger traffic in geographical Europe grew by an outstanding +14.1% during April, compared with the same month last year. While the permanence of strong demand and continued airline capacity expansion coupled with air traffic picking up in Turkey played an important role, a number of one-off & exceptional factors distorted the comparison with April 2016. These include the fact that air traffic in April last year was severely affected by the Brussels terrorist attacks, ATC strikes in France also taking place in April last year and Easter moving from March to April this year. 

The growth reported was equally spread between EU airports (+14.1%) and Non-EU airports (+14.2%) – with every single national market across Europe reporting passenger traffic increases.

Within the EU, 22 countries posted double digit growth, including 11 that each registered over +20%: Belgium (+45.4%)*, Bulgaria (+51%), Croatia (+34.1%), Cyprus (+29.7%), Czech Republic (+29.3%), Luxembourg (+21.6%), Malta (+26.6%), Poland (+21.3%), Portugal (27.9%), Romania (+32%) and Slovenia (+31.5%).

The performance of the Non-EU market was remarkable for the resurgence of passenger traffic in Turkey – bouncing back to full recovery after months of incremental gains. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Non-EU countries, airports in Iceland, Georgia, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine recorded very impressive growth.

Freight traffic was also a positive story, at a solid +5.6%. Aircraft movements were up +4.2%.

During the month of April, 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 +11.2%, +18.7%, +15.4% and +14.3%.

The airports which reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during April 2017 (compared with April 2016) are as follows:

GROUP 1:     Palma De Mallorca (+23.7%), Moscow DME (+19.8%), Moscow SVO (+19.2%), Manchester (+17.0%) and Zurich (+15.2%)

GROUP 2:     Brussels (+99.9%), Lisbon (+30.4%), Prague (+29.2%), St Petersburg (+27.6%) and Tel Aviv (+25.2%)

GROUP 3:     Keflavik (+61.7%), Larnaca (+38.8%), Ibiza (+35.5%), Kiev (+30.8%) and Heraklion (+28.9%)

GROUP 4:    Taranto (+525%), Bucharest BBU (+493.5%), Nis (+461.9%), Oradea (+232.4%) and Kutaisi (+114.5%)

The ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – April 2017 includes 241 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.

ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Reports are unique in that they are the only ones to include all types of airline passenger flights to, from and within Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

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