First quarter European traffic growth stalls

The latest traffic results for Europe’s airports released this morning give the first comprehensive report of airport traffic performance in Q1 2013.

The overall passenger traffic growth at European airports has been totally flat during the first 3 months of the year, compared with Q1 2012.

Overall freight traffic among European airports remained negative
at -1.5%. Significantly, aircraft movements (an indicator of airline capacity) at European airports also decreased by -5.2%.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE commented “This first indication of traffic performance in 2013 clearly reflects the state of the European economy.

EU airports registered a -2.1% fall in passenger traffic, on the back of record unemployment and much diminished economic sentiment. Meanwhile, non-EU markets led by Turkey, Georgia, Russia and also Iceland, continue to report impressive, dynamic growth, with an +8.9% increase in passenger traffic.”

He added: “The only comfort we can see is that M arch is looking slightly better than the preceding months, for EU airports. Yet, behind these figures, there is an all-too-evident gap in the attitude of
national governments towards air transport. Just look at the way the UK keeps increasing its air passenger tax and faffing over airport capacity, while Turkey actively executes a far-reaching strategy to become a dominant aviation hub – all in support of its global economic ambitions.”

Comparing Q1 2013 with the same period in 2012, 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 of +1.0%, -0.1%, +0.6% and -4.1% respectively.

Comparing the month of March with March 2012, reveals the following average increases across the same 4 traffic groups for airports: +2.6%, +1.2%, +1.9% and -1.7% respectively.

The airports that experienced the highest increase in passenger traffic per group, when comparing March 2013 with March 2012, include:

GROUP 1 airports – Istanbul IST (+23.8%), Moscow SVO (+14.8%), Antalya (+11.3%), London LHR (+3.9%) and Paris ORY (+2.7%)
GROUP 2 airports – Istanbul SAW (+18.2%), St Petersburg (+14.6%), Geneva (+8.2%), Dublin (+7.8%) and Lisbon (+6.7%)
GROUP 3 airports – Bucharest (+34.6%), Ankara (+15.9%), Venice (+12.1%), Warsaw WAW (+10.7%), Izmir (+9.6%) & Budapest (+9.6%)
GROUP 4 airports – Arad (+181.0%), Ohrid (+118.5%), Chita (+55.5%), Chelyabinsk (+42.5%) and Batumi (+38.4%)

The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – March/Q1 2013’ includes 175 airports in total. These airports represent over 88% of European passenger traffic.

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