Europe’s airports have enjoyed “by far their best first-half traffic performance” in more than a decade, new ACI Europe figures show.
Passenger numbers grew by an “impressive” 9%, driven by a mix of one-off and structural factors.
ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec stressed that the increase came on top of significant longer-term growth, with passenger volumes up nearly 30% since 2012.
“This kind of growth has clearly outstripped the most optimistic forecasts – something that should be borne in mind by anyone who doubts the looming airport capacity crunch facing Europe.”
He added “The outlook is very positive for the rest of the year with the economy – especially in the Eurozone – expected to maintain its growth trajectory and oil prices set to remain contained.”
“Of course, this is assuming there are no new geopolitical upsets. Having said that, Brexit remains the number one worry for many airport CEOs – given the continued uncertainty surrounding negotiations. The countdown to March 2019 keeps ticking and if no progress is achieved in the coming months, we are likely to see negative impacts on aviation kick in already next year.”
ACI Europe said 2017 first-half growth factors included “markets affected by terrorism last year bouncing back, the return of strong passenger demand in Russia and to a lesser extent in Turkey, continued improvement in the economy and oil prices consistently remaining below $55 per barrel.”
It said the strongest growth was mainly at secondary hubs and medium sized airports, reflecting evolving competitive dynamics largely driven by low-cost carriers and non-EU full service carriers.
Decreases in passenger traffic were largely concentrated on smaller airports, handling less than five million passengers per annum.
It said a marked 8.7% improvement in freight traffic – the best first half performance since 2010 – also reflected improved economic conditions, not just in Europe but globally.
Among the largest European airports, the biggest first-half traffic increases were seen at Moscow SVO (+17.7%), Manchester (+12.6%), Moscow DME (+10.1%), London LGW (+9.4%) and Amsterdam (+8.7%).
Among Europe’s Group 2 airports, the biggest first-half traffic increases were at Antalya (+29.2%), St Petersburg LED (+26.0%), Warsaw WAW (24.7%), Brussels (+23.4%) and Lisbon (+22.3%).
10th August 2017