First half of 2012 reveals persistent decline in traffic growth in Europe

Posted: 6 August 2012 | Airports Council International (ACI) | No comments yet

The latest traffic figures for Europe’s airports released confirm the precarious situation…

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The latest traffic figures for Europe’s airports released today confirm the precarious situation facing both the industry and the wider European economy. The first half of the year witnessed a significant and persistent fall in traffic growth, with the boost in June from the European football championship doing little to counter this downward trend.

Overall passenger traffic at European airports in the first half of 2012 increased by only +2.3% compared with H1 2011. The overall freight traffic among European airports declined by -3.4% in the same period. Aircraft movements (an indicator of airline capacity) at European airports decreased by -1.6%.

The divide within Europe remains, with passenger traffic growth at EU airports remaining weak at +1.3% while non-EU airport traffic continued to surge ahead, with growth of +9.1%.

On a monthly basis, passenger traffic in June 2012 increased by +2.9% while freight – although nearly flat at +0.8% – expanded for the first time in almost a year. Aircraft movements declined by -0.1%.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE said “While the traffic results for June are showing some improvement, one swallow does not a summer make. Some airports received a much-needed boost from the European football championship, but the wider industry context remains grim. The results for the first half of the year again reflect the fundamental economic weaknesses being experienced.”

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 for June 2012 an average increase of +3.0%, +2.9%, +3.7% and +1.5% respectively when compared with June 2011.

In terms of the year to date, comparing the first half of 2012 with the same period in 2011 reveals an average increase of +2.8%, +2.9%, +2.4% and +1.8% respectively.

Airports that experienced the highest increase in passenger traffic per group, when comparing June 2012 with June 2011, include:

  • GROUP 1 airports – Istanbul IST (+25.2%), Frankfurt (+5.4%), Barcelona (+5.2%), London LGW (+4.1%) and Paris CDG (+2.3%)
  • GROUP 2 airports – Moscow SVO (+13.7%), Berlin TXL (+10.0%), Istanbul SAW (+9.6%), Nice (+7.9%) and Vienna (+7.1%)
  • GROUP 3 airports – Bucharest OTP (+49.1%), Warsaw WAW (+17.2%), Kiev KBP (+14.6%), Marseille (+14.4%) and Toulouse (+11.3%)
  • GROUP 4 airports – Arad (+242.0%), Vatry (+66.8%), Ohrid (+32.1%), Paphos (+28.5%) and Zadar (+26.7%)

The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – June 2012’ includes 168 airports in total. These airports represent over 88% of European passenger traffic.

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