European airports will arrive at Routes Europe later this month in a positive mood with trade association, ACI Europe, reporting positive results in its latest traffic report, covering the month of February 2017. Average passenger traffic in geographical Europe grew by +5.2 per cent during February, compared with the same month last year.
While EU airports continued to lead the growth dynamic (+5.5 per cent), the gap with non-EU airports (+4.2 per cent) is narrowing - on the back of a much improved performance by Russian airports and strong increases in Iceland, Ukraine and Georgia. Conversely, passenger traffic is still declining in Turkey, although at a slower pace than in previous months.
In the EU, most of the less mature markets in the Eastern part of the Union posted double digit growth increases in passenger traffic, along with Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal, the ACI Europe data shows.
While February’s growth rates are lower than those reported for January, the extra ‘leap year’ day in February 2016 should be taken into consideration. Accordingly, in an adjusted, equal comparison (based on 28 days), passenger traffic across Europe actually rose by +9 per cent, with the EU market growing by +9.3 per cent and the non-EU bloc by +7.9 per cent.
Freight traffic grew by +3.4 per cent (+6.7 per cent adjusted) while aircraft movements were near flat at -0.4 per cent (+3.4 per cent adjusted).
The 'ACI Europe Airport Traffic Report includes 235 airports in total representing more than 88 per cent of European air passenger traffic. It is viewed by analysts as a good barometer of the industry’s health as it is the only industry analysis to include all types of airline passenger flights to, from and within Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.
As always, ACI Europe has divided its analysis by airport size to further highlight variations. During the month of February, airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1), airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers (Group 2), airports welcoming between five and ten million passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than five million passengers per year (Group 4) reported an average adjustment +3.2 per cent, +6.6 per cent, +8.1 per cent and +7.6 per cent.
The airports which reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during February 2017 (compared with February 2016) are as follows: