European airports in 2016: over 2 billion registered passengers

Top 3 European airports by number of passengers!

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Passenger air traffic is increasing year by year. IATA (The International Air Transport Association) reported an increase of 6.3% globally for 2016 as compared to 2015, being registered 3.7 billion passengers.

An interesting report comes from the Airports Council International Europe, which announced 2 billion passengers to / from European airports. ACI Europe monitors 500 airports in 45 countries. This industry contributes to the creation of 12.3 million jobs and generates revenues of 675 billion EURO (4.1% of European GDP).

Over 2 billion registered passengers

The passenger traffic presented by ACI Europe includes all passengers on all commercial flights operated from / to Europe and within Europe. The figures include passengers on charters, low-cost and full-service, as well as other commercial flights.

Throughout the year 2016, passenger traffic increased by 5.1% at European level. Passenger traffic to countries hit by terrorist attacks, especially to Turkish airports, has decreased, leading to a decrease in the number of tourists to these countries. But all these unpleasant events have contributed to significant increases on European flights, to holiday destinations in Croatia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

And airports in Russia have seen a drop in passengers, but markets such as Iceland, Israel and Ukraine have experienced very dynamic growth. As you can see, nothing is lost, everything changes.

For the first time in the history of commercial aviation, airports in Europe have registered over 2 billion passengers. While geopolitical events and terrorism have shaped the fate of some airports. Some had to lose, others had to win.

Low cost airlines are on the rise

For the 3 consecutive year, the increase in passenger traffic at European airports exceeded 5%. Olivier Jankovec, General Director of ACI EUROPE, mentioned 3 factors that contributed substantially to this growth: 1. improving economic conditions at European level and the reduction of unemployment; 2. the low price of oil; 3. infrastructure development (airlines have developed their activity, as have many airports).

The low-cost market has played an important role. More and more LCC airlines are developing and intensifying their activities at European level. Some of them chose to develop in the long-courier market, while others went to the hybrid area and started offering complex services at the lowest possible rates.

Top 3 European airports by number of passengers!

In all this equation, small and medium-sized airports had to win. Bucharest airports reported 18.3% increase in passenger traffic compared to 2015.

Other major European airports: Barcelona (+ 11,2%), Dublin (+ 11,5%), Manchester (+ 10,8%), Lisbon (+ 11,7%), Athens (+ 10,6%), Warsaw (+ 14,5%), Edinburgh ( + 11,1%), Cologne (+ 15,2%), Berlin (+ 36,7%), Birmingham (+ 14,3%), Budapest (+ 11,1%), Venice (+ 10%), Bologna (+ 11,5%), Keflavik (+ 40,4%), Thessaloniki (+ 12,1%), Krakow (+ 18,1%), Sofia (+ 21,8%) and Vilnius (+ 14,3%).

And the main European hubs have seen growth, but not so spectacular. And others fell. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the only one of the top 5 with an increase of 9.3%, reporting 63.6 million passengers. Thus, the Dutch airport climbed to the position of 3 after London Heathrow (75.6 million passengers, + 1 %) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (65.9 million passengers, + 0.3 %). In the 4 position it went down Frankfurt Airport (60.7 million passengers, -0.4%), and in the position of 5 it went down Istanbul-Atatürk Airport (60 million passengers, -2.1%).

But the news for 2017 is not exactly good, and estimates are reserved. The price of oil plays an important role in the development of the aviation industry, and some signals from the market show a tendency of its growth. Plus geopolitical and conflictual influences.

Let's fly in 2017 as much, maybe even more. Clear skies and flights without incident!

Photo cover by Sorin Cuzuban

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