ACI EUROPE has released its latest air traffic report for September and Q3 2019 which shows that, on average, the growth in passenger traffic across the European airports stood at 2.2% in September, down from 3.4% in August 2019.
The growth in Q3 stood at 2.6%, down from 4.3% in H1 2019. Meanwhile, freight traffic kept declining for the 11th consecutive month – down by 2.8% (down 3% for Q3) and aircraft movements barely increased at 0.8% (1.1% in Q3).
The impact of the bankruptcies of Aigle Azur, XL Airways, Thomas Cook, and Adria Airways was felt mostly in the EU market, where passenger traffic grew by 2% - the weakest monthly performance in six years. The airports most affected by these airline market exits included Ljubljana (down 9.6%), Paris-Orly (down 9.4%), Fuerteventura (down 9.2%), Glasgow (down 7.7%), Las Palmas (down 6.1%), Corfu (down 4%), Newcastle (down 3.7%), Kos (down 3.3%), Tenerife South (down 3.1%), and Heraklion (down 2.7%). Amongst EU national markets, Latvia (11.4%) was the only one achieving double-digit growth, while Estonia & Luxembourg (9.6%), Austria (9%), Hungary (8.6%), Poland & Malta (7.6%), Finland (6.4%) and Portugal (6.2%) still significantly outperformed the EU average. At the other end of the spectrum, declining figures were posted by Slovenia (-9.6%), Bulgaria (-7.9%), Sweden (-2.1%), Slovakia (-1.1%), the UK (-0.7%), Germany (-0.4%), while Greece (0.3%), Denmark (0.5%) and Cyprus (0.6%) barely grew.
Amongst capital & larger EU airports, the best performances came from Milan-Malpensa (33.5%) - partly due to the closure of Milan-Linate for runway refurbishment), London-City (11.9%), Riga (11.4%), London-Luton (10.7%), Vienna (10.4%), Budapest (8.6%), Lisbon (7.3%), Madrid (7.1%), Prague (6.7%) and Helsinki (6.6%). Airports in the non-EU market saw passenger traffic expanding by 3%, in September 2019, driven by Ukraine (28.8%), Armenia (18.7%), North Macedonia (16.5%), Albania & Serbia (13.7%). Iceland (-34.2%) continued to be severely affected by the bankruptcy of WOW and other airlines’ capacity adjustments, with the latter also impacting Georgia (-9.9%). Meanwhile, Russia slightly outperformed the non-EU average (3.4%) – and gains were rather limited in Switzerland (0.6%), Turkey (1.8%) and Norway (2.3%). Amongst non-EU capital & larger airports, the highest increases in passenger traffic came from Kyiv-Boryspil (27.6%), Yerevan (18.7%), Tirana (13.7%), Belgrade & Skopje (11.9%) and Minsk (11.2%).
The growth in passenger traffic at the top five European airports remained weak in September at 1.2% (compared with 1.3% in August). Paris-CDG achieved the best performance (4.8%), even becoming the busiest European airport during the month with more than 6.81 million passengers. Istanbul (1.8%), Amsterdam-Schiphol (1.4%) and Frankfurt (1.3%) grew at a much lower pace, while London-Heathrow (-3%) was affected by industrial action at British Airways.
As in the preceding months, the downturn in freight traffic in September 2019 was entirely concentrated on the EU market (-4.4%) with non-EU airports making significant gains (4.8%).
During Q3, 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 2.4%, 4.1%, 2.2%, and 0.7%, respectively. The airports that reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during Q3 are as follows:
GROUP 1: Vienna (13.2%), Antalya (12.5%), Moscow SVO (9.4%), Lisbon (7.7%), and Madrid (7.3%);
GROUP 2: Milan MXP (26.2%), Kyiv KBP (25.8%), Porto (11.3%), Moscow-Vnukovo (8.9%), and London-Luton (8.4%);
GROUP 3: Krakow (29.8%), Sevilla (20.2%), Nantes (16.8%), Bologna and Bordeaux (13.1%), and Riga (12.6%); and
GROUP 4: Targu Mures (113.5%), Ohrid (53.8%), Turku (52.9%), Kharkiv (42.1%), and Nis (39.9%).