ACI Europe: Air passenger traffic approaching 2019 level
ACI Europe, the association of airports in Europe, presented an air traffic report for January 2023. According to it, passenger air traffic in Europe increased by 2023% in January 69 compared to January 2022, when travel restrictions related to the Omicron variant had put brake recovery.
More than 85% growth was recorded among international travel, while domestic air passenger traffic increased by only 35% in January 2023 compared to January 2022.
Recorded passenger air traffic in Europe in January 2023
Compared to pre-pandemic levels (January 2019), passenger traffic in January 2023 was lower by 11%. "This is the best monthly performance and therefore the closest to a full recovery since the beginning of the pandemic", emphasizes ACI Europe.
EU+ airports (airports in the EU, UK, EEA and Switzerland) saw an increase in passenger traffic by + 82 %
EU+ airports (airports in the EU, UK, EEA and Switzerland) saw an increase in passenger traffic by + 82 % in January 2023 compared to the same month last year. The biggest increases came from airports in the UK (+128%), Ireland (+115%) and Cyprus (+111%).
At the airports of the rest of Europe (Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), passenger traffic increased by + 27% in January 2023 compared to the same month last year.
The war in Ukraine affected air passenger traffic from Ukraine and Russia, where significant declines were reported, but airports in Armenia (+70%) and Georgia (+49,2%) and, to a lesser extent, Turkey ( +47,9%) benefited from war-related traffic changes.
Airports in Albania (+86,2%), Armenia (+80,9%), Kosovo (+39,6%) and Serbia (+28,3%) far exceeded their reported pre-pandemic volumes in while those in the main market of Turkey (-2,6%) was very close to a full recovery. Airports in Russia (+6,6%) managed to stay above their pre-pandemic volumes as passenger traffic continued to shift to domestic and non-EU+ markets.
The busiest airports in Europe in January 2023
Cu 5,64 million passengers, Istanbul was the busiest European airport in January 2023, overtaking London Heathrow Airport, which was the leader in the last months of 2022. A +62,6% increase was reported in January 2023 compared to the same month last year, which meant that Istanbul Airport and to exceed pre-pandemic volumes (January 2019) by +8,1%.
London-Heathrow ranked second with 5,49 million passengers, followed by Paris-CDG with 4,72 million passengers. Volumes were up +111,2% and +73,2% for UK and French hubs respectively compared to the same month last year – and remained -7,4% and -12,1% respectively below pre-pandemic levels (January 2019).
Madrid ranked fourth, with 4,43 million passengers. The performance of the Spanish hub reflects the significant penetration of low-cost carriers and its lower exposure to Asia. Along with Istanbul, it was the only one to exceed pre-pandemic volumes (+1%). Madrid was followed by Amsterdam Schiphol with 3,9 million passengers (+56,6% compared to the same month last year / -22,2% compared to January 2019).
Airports, which reported the largest increases in traffic of passengers for January 2023 compared to January 2022 are as follows:
- GROUP 1: London STN (+ 173,9%), London LGW (+ 170,6%), Rome FCO (+ 143,1%), Manchester (+ 119,1%) and Dublin (+ 113,5%).
- GROUP 2: Tel Aviv (+ 270,1%), Edinburgh (+ 159,8%), Birmingham (+ 141,8%), Venice (+ 139,4%) and London LTN (+ 120,2%).
- GROUP 3: London LCY (+ 228,6%), Malta (+ 137,8%), Newcastle (+ 126,9%), Keflavik (+ 111,5%) and Pisa (+ 107,6%).
- GROUP 4: Leeds (+ 177,6 %) , Nuremberg (+ 174,7 %), Dresden (+ 167,5 %), Florence (+ 154,5 %) and Cork (+ 146,6 %).