As expected, Cologne Bonn Airport has ended the current year with slightly subdued traffic figures – although somewhat better than expected. By 31 December, 12.4 million passengers had taken off or landed at the airport. This represents a drop of 5% compared with the previous year, when almost 13 million passengers travelled via Cologne Bonn Airport. The decrease was thus lower than expected: the airport had originally estimated one million fewer passengers than in 2018. The figures for freight are also waning: a total of 815,000 tonnes of goods and merchandise were handled in Cologne/Bonn in 2019 (down by 5%).
“A difficult year has come to an end at Cologne Bonn Airport. Cologne/Bonn – just like all other airports – had to do battle with a very tense market environment last year. Airline consolidations and complete withdrawals from the market have shaken up the industry and are affecting passenger figures – which are nevertheless better than expected. Freight, in turn, is feeling the effects of the tense global economic situation,” says Johan Vanneste, President & CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH.
Passengers who flew to their holidays from Cologne Bonn Airport last year were mainly drawn to classic sunny destinations. Palma de Mallorca was ahead of the field when it came to holiday resorts: around 850,000 passengers opted for the Balearic island. Overall, Spain and Turkey (1.8 million passengers each) were the most popular holiday destinations. The busiest day was 13 October with almost 48,500 passengers.
Several factors dampened the traffic figures for 2019, including, above all, the discontinuation of the Eurowings long-haul route and the withdrawal of Condor, Laudamotion and Norwegian from Cologne Bonn Airport.
However, developments at easyJet, Corendon Airlines, Ryanair and Pegasus Airlines had a positive impact on traffic figures. With 40 weekly round trips to Berlin, easyJet firmly has established itself as the capital city shuttle. Corendon Airlines opened a base in Cologne/Bonn in May, bringing with it a high level of commitment with 25 weekly rotations to sunny destinations in Turkey and the Med. Since the autumn, the airport’s apron has also been enriched by a truly traditional airline: Alitalia has been flying daily from Cologne/Bonn to Milan Linate since November of last year. Alitalia is a member of the SkyTeam aviation Alliance, which is the third major alliance at Cologne Bonn Airport, alongside Star Alliance and One World.
Freight operations in 2019 were, in turn, affected by the overall situation of the global economy. Weakening economic activity and smouldering trade conflicts also had an impact on the handling of goods and merchandise in Cologne/Bonn. With a total of 815,000 tons of freight, the airport was thus 5 per cent down on the previous year’s figure.