Ahead of this year's World Routes forum, Routesonline is providing another look at our series of articles on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across regions of the world last year. Here we look closely at the airports of Eastern Europe and highlight the region's top performers.
The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.
Scheduled Air Capacity From Eastern Europe (2005 - 2014)
Our analysis of published schedules for the past ten years shows that air capacity within and from Eastern Europe has risen from 73,528,065 available seats in 2005 to 144,755,519 available seats in 2014. This represents a growth of 96.9 per cent across the period, an average annual increase of 10.8 per cent. In the past year capacity increased 7.5 per cent.
Top Ten Airports in the Eastern European Market (2014)
The influential role of Moscow over activities across Eastern Europe is clear to see when you look at the largest airports within and from Eastern Europe by capacity in the last calendar year. Data for 2014 shows that European Russia is home to the four largest airports across the region: its capital housing three of these facilities.
It is Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow that leads the way with a 12.7 per cent share of capacity within and from Eastern Europe in 2014, just ahead of Domodedovo International Airport in the Russian capital with a 12.2 per cent share. Third largest is Pulkovo International Airport in St Petersburg (5.6 per cent), followed by Vnukvo International Airport in Moscow (5.4 per cent). All four airports saw relatively stable growth in the past 12 months.
The largest airport outside of Russia by capacity within and from Eastern Europe is Prague Airport in the Czech Republic with a 4.6 per cent share, followed by Warsaw’s Chopin Airport in Poland (4.3 per cent) and Budapest Airport in Hungary (3.8 per cent); the latter having continued its recovery after the loss of its home carrier.
Fastest Growing Airports in the Eastern Europe Market (2010-2014)
Looking at capacity data in the region across a five year period, it is the Baltic State of Lithuania that is home to the fastest growing airport within and from Eastern Europe between 2010 and 2014. Vilnius International Airport, in the nation’s capital city, has grown departure capacity by 94.4 per cent over the five year period thanks in part to the emergence of a new local carrier in the form of Air Lituanica and growth from both low-cost and legacy operators.
It is no surprise that Russia’s leading gateways have also seen significant growth over the past five years. The largest has been at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow where departure capacity within and from Eastern Europe is up 63.0 per cent. Notable growth was also recorded in Russia at Pulkovo International Airport in St Petersburg (54.7 per cent), Sochi International Airport (46.3 per cent), Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow (41.4 per cent), Krasnodar International Airport (38.2 per cent) and Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport (36.4 per cent).
Outside of the dominant Russian market, Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport saw a significant 54.6 per cent increase in departure capacity within and from Eastern Europe between 2010 and 2014, thanks to recent expansion from the rebranded Air Serbia. Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport in Romania, also saw a notable 43.0 per cent capacity rise between 2010 and 2014, while Gdansk Lech Walesa Airport (36.9 per cent) in Poland and Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport (36.5 per cent) in Azerbaijan grew capacity by more than a third over the past five years.
Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows a steady level of growth among the top ten airports in the region by capacity, with only three showing year-on-year capacity declines: Kiev Borispol International Airport (down 7.6 per cent), Riga International Airport (down 4.6 per cent) and Prague International Airport (down 2.1 per cent).
Although the Russian market appears stable with regard capacity within the region, it is Romania that is home to the fast growing of the region’s top ten airlines in 2014 with Bucharest’s Henri Coanda International Airport witnessing an 11.7 per cent growth in departure seats within and from Eastern Europe between 2013 and 2014.
Russia’s largest gateways in Moscow and St Petersburg showed notable growth over the period, but Vnukovo International Airport was the only other facility in the top ten to record a double-digit growth in departure seats year-on-year, up 10.9 per cent.
Looking at the wider top twenty airports in the region it is Krasnodar International Airport in Russia which recorded the largest year-on-year capacity growth between 2013 and 2014 with a rise of 37.2 per cent. Significant growth was also recorded by Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport in Serbia (up 32.6 per cent) and Sochi International Airport Russia (up 32.1 per cent).
Scheduled Eastern Europe Capacity by Aircraft Type
The chart below shows which aircraft types were most prevalent in the Eastern European market during 2014. The schedule data shows the Airbus A320 (320) is the most widely used aircraft type in this market with a 25.4 per cent share of available seats with overall network capacity up 1.8 per cent between 2013 and 2014 to 36.72 million seats.
The second most utilised aircraft type in this market is the Airbus A319 (319) with a 13.7 per cent share, while third most widely operated type by network capacity is the Boeing 737-800 (738) with a 11.0 per cent share.
The biggest rises in annual capacity among the top ten aircraft types were recorded by the Boeing 737-700 (Winglets) (73H) with a 72.8 per cent rise in available seats in 2014 versus 2013 and the Airbus A320 (320) with a 15.5 per cent rise. The largest decline in annual capacity was recorded by the Boeing 737-500 (735) with a fall of 16.1 per cent versus 2013.