Dublin Airport Remains At Forefront Of European Airport Growth

Departure Gates T1

Dublin continues to be one of Europe’s fastest growing major airports, according to the latest monthly passenger figures from ACI Europe.

Passenger traffic at Dublin grew by 9.3% in July – marginally less than the two biggest growers in the major airport category, Barcelona and Copenhagen.

Growth at Dublin remained almost two and a half times the European average of 3.9%.

Airports within the EU reported average growth of 6.8%, with some of the biggest increases coming at leisure destinations in southern regions, ACI Europe said.

Double digit passenger growth occurred in Bulgaria (+21.5%), Croatia (+18.3%), Cyprus (+16.7%), Portugal (+13.5%), Romania (+15.8%), Spain (+11.4%), Poland (+10.8%) and Lithuania (+12.7%).

Meanwhile, European airports in non-EU countries experienced an overall decline of 5.5% – the third consecutive month of falling numbers.

ACI Europe said this was essentially due to a sharp 15.3% decline at Turkish airports in the wake of the Istanbul Airport terrorist attack in June and the failed coup, while Russia continued to register declining volumes, falling back 5%.

ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec said Europe was back to a two-speed market – only this time the other way around

He said that, following the global financial crisis, the traffic growth was in non-EU countries, while the EU market was now the one in growth mode.

“July also confirms the fact that traffic growth this year tends to be focused on secondary hubs & mid-sized airports, rather than large hubs and smaller regional airports. This primarily reflects the fact that low cost airlines are the ones driving market expansion. But it also accounts for what seems to be a lasting impact of terrorism on external demand for intercontinental air services to Europe.”

He added: “More generally, the impact of the terrorist attacks and political instability affecting parts of Europe this year has largely remained local – leading to shifts in demand benefiting other European markets.”

Among Europe’s major airports, the biggest July growth was seen at Barcelona El-Prat (+9.6%), Copenhagen (+9.5%), Dublin (+9.3%), Amsterdam (+7.8%) and  London LGW (+6.9%).

Among Europe’s Group 2 airports, the biggest growers were Gran Canaria (+20.0%), Cologne-Bonn (+17.5%), Alicante (+17.1%), Malaga (+15.3%) and Birmingham (+14.2%)