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Faro Airport saw another successful year in 2014, with a total of 6.167 million passengers – an increase of 3.1 percent from the previous year. The overall load factor increased by 0.6 percent up to 85.4 percent, while aircraft movements also increased by 2.4 percent to 42,402 in 2014.
Faro Airport is located in the Algarve, in the southwest of Europe, and provides access to a growing market of airlines and destinations, currently operating to 69 destinations in 15 countries.
Famous for providing access to the sustained leisure travel market of the Algarve, Faro Airport is also the gateway to the coastal city of Huelva, another important Spanish tourist destination.
The leisure destination has once again been nominated in the category for Europe’s Best Beach Destination after having won the award in both 2012 and 2013 at the World Travel Awards. It is also an award winning golf destination, having being voted European Golf Destination of the Year 2013 by International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and Best Value Golf Destination 2013 (Continental Europe) by Today's Golfer magazine.
Six courses are also In the Golf World Top 100 Courses in Continental Europe 2013 and eight courses are featured in the magazine The Next 100 top European courses.
In terms of accommodation whether for leisure or business needs, there are over 42,000 rooms and 107,000 hotel beds in the Algarve as well as almost 30,000 beds in Huelva. Approximately 36 percent of all hotel capacity in Portugal is in the Algarve, which is almost double the available capacity in Lisbon, while over 55 percent of hotel capacity in the Algarve is made up of four and 5 star hotels.
Faro acts as an important gateway to a number of European hubs, allowing for passengers to connect to a significant amount of destinations.
Almost 160.000 passengers connected to Lisbon from Faro, going further onto destinations including Hamburg, Zurich, Paris Orly, Frankfurt and Munich. Hamburg alone received almost 13,500 passengers originating from Faro through its important connection with Lisbon.
With a recent announcement of major expansion at the airport, which will see the airport being able to increase the number of passengers processed during peak times from 2,400 an hour to 3,000 per hour, the airport can only expect an even greater increase in passenger numbers in the near future.
Some of the objectives of the expansion will include responding to the change in the type of traffic, creating more operating areas, and more public areas, and revitalising and expanding the retail area. The expansion will also see an increase in operating security, modernising the image of the terminal, and reformulating the integration with land accessibilities.
Low cost traffic accounts for 74 percent of the airport’s traffic, while full service airlines represent 18 percent and the remaining 8 percent is held by charter traffic. Ryanair is the largest airline at Faro, with a 28 percent share in the market, while easyJet follows behind with a 17 percent share.
The UK is the main market for Faro, with a 55.3 percent share in traffic, while Germany is second with a much smaller 11.2 percent share. Both Ireland and the Netherlands hold an 8.9 percent share in passenger traffic, while Portugal has a 5.4 percent share.
2015 has seen a number of new routes at Faro, including Aberdeen, Barcelona, Cardiff, Lyon, Madrid and Nantes, while Air Nostrum and Vueling have also both arrived at the airport. New operations include Dusseldorf, operated by germanwings, Stockholm Arlanda operated by SAS, and Zurich which is operated by airberlin.
A total of 15 pre-existing operations have also seen an increase in frequency from the award winning beach destination, including Brussels, Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, London Gatwick and Paris to name a few.
Another important connection is the airport’s link to Munich, which saw almost 4,000 passengers passing through the German hub to reach Berlin Tegel.
With 50 years of operation under its belt, Faro Airport has undergone a number of major development projects, and now has a capacity for six million passengers per year – which is set to increase even further following the completion of the new developments over the next few years.