Passenger traffic growth decelerates to +4.8% in July, according to ACI Europe

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European airport trade association ACI EUROPE releases its traffic report for July 2018, during which average passenger traffic in geographical Europe expanded by +4.8% compared with the same month last year. While this remains a solid performance, the month marked a deceleration in growth at Europe’s airports when compared to H1 (+6.7%), which predominantly affected the non-EU market.

Passenger traffic increased by +6.8% at non-EU airports, down from +10.5% in H1. This reflected lower growth at Turkish, Russian and Icelandic airports. Meanwhile, airports in Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, FYROM, Georgia, and Ukraine kept recording double-digit growth.

The growth deceleration was less marked at EU airports, where passenger volumes grew by 4.3% in July compared to +5.4% in H1. Traffic levels were impacted by airlines and ATC strikes in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain (which tended to disproportionately affect selected secondary & regional airports), as well as the lasting impact of airline consolidation in Germany.

As in previous months, countries in the Eastern parts of the EU bloc along with Finland, Greece and Malta significantly outperformed the EU average. Accordingly, these 10 capital city airports all registered double-digit growth in passenger traffic: Vilnius (+251.9%), Bratislava (+14.9%), Riga (+14.4%), Tallinn (+14.1%), Budapest (+13.8%), Warsaw (+12.7%), Helsinki (+12.5%), Malta (+12.1%), Athens (11.4%) and Prague (+10.2%).

Conversely, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Slovenia registered the weakest performance (below 2%).

The Majors (top 5 European airports) also experienced slower passenger traffic growth in July at +3.5% (+6.3% in H1). This reflected traffic stalling at Amsterdam-Schiphol (+0.5%) due to capacity limitations as well as lower growth at Istanbul-Atatürk (+1.5%). Frankfurt posted the highest performance amongst the league at +7.5% (moving from fourth to the third position and switching places with Amsterdam-Schiphol for the month), followed by Paris-CDG (+4.2%) and London-Heathrow (+3.7%).

Freight traffic remained moderate in July at +2.6%. Aircraft movements were up +3.5% – increasing by +2.3% in the EU market and by +5.8% in the non-EU bloc.

During the month of July, 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 adjustment +4.4%, +5.2%, +4.1% and +6.5%.

The airports that reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during July 2018 (compared with July 2017) are as follows:

GROUP 1: Antalya AYT (+18.3%), Moscow SVO (+12.2%), Istanbul SAW (+9.8%), Madrid (+8.7%) and Frankfurt (+7.5%)
GROUP 2: Moscow VKO (+16.1%), Budapest (+13.8%), Kiev (+13.3%), Warsaw WAW (+12.7%) and Helsinki (+12.5%)
GROUP 3: Seville (+23%), Riga (+14.4%), Palermo (+13.7%), Krakow (+12.9%) and Malta (+12.1%)
GROUP 4: Targu-Mures (+9,691.8%), Vilnius (+251.9%), Taranto (+180%), Maribor (+102.7%) and Sibiu (+53.9%)

The ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – July 2018 includes 243 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.

ACI EUROPE’s monthly Airport Traffic Report is unique in that it is the only one to include all types of airline passenger flights to, from and within Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

Brussels, 18 September 2018

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