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2016 off to a good start: +6.3% passenger growth


04 Mar 2016



Brussels, 4 March 2016: European airport trade association, ACI EUROPE today releases its traffic report for January 2016. This is the only air transport report which includes all types of civil aviation passenger flights to and from Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

Passenger traffic across the European airport network in January 2016 grew by an average +6.3%.

In the EU, the average increase in passenger traffic was +6.9%, with airports in 16 EU Member States achieving double-digit growth. This was the strongest monthly rate in almost 2 years. Meanwhile, non-EU airports reported slower growth of +4.3%.

Freight traffic across the European airport network grew by +3.5%, above last year’s average of +2.2%. However, this improvement is mainly due to comparison with a weak January 2015 (-1%). The dynamic growth in passenger traffic was not matched by a corresponding increase in aircraft movements – which remained aligned with previous months at +2.2%, pointing to continued airline capacity discipline.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE said “We are off to a very good start of the year in terms of passenger traffic, with airports in Southern and Eastern EU States generally being major contributors to what is quite a remarkable performance. In terms of the top 25 European airports, the airports of Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen (+19.3%), Dublin (+17.1%), Barcelona (+14.3%), Copenhagen (+12.9%), London Stansted (+11.8%), Madrid-Adolfo Suarez (+11.7%) and Amsterdam Schiphol (+10.4%) posted the strongest growth. French airports are still feeling the fallout of the recent terrorist attacks and extremely weak economic confidence - while the Non-EU market was mainly dragged down by weak traffic levels at Russian and Norwegian airports.”

Commenting on the current prospect for a re-introduction of an aviation tax in Norway, he added: “An aviation tax is probably the last thing Norwegian aviation needs – let alone the country’s wider economy. Air connectivity is directly related to GDP and there is ample evidence to show that such taxes have a net negative impact on growth. Yet, it is worrying that the Norwegian authorities do not seem inclined to take these knock-on consequences into account. Air connectivity should not be considered as a given. It needs to be nurtured and supported – not taxed.”


During the month of January, airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1), airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers (Group 2), airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Group 4) reported an average adjustment +5.4%, +6.4%, +9.0% and +6.6%.

The airports which reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during January 2016 (compared with 2015) are as follows:

GROUP 1:     Istanbul SAW (+19.3%), Dublin (+17.1%), Barcelona El-Prat (+14.3%), Copenhagen (+12.9%) and Madrid-Barajas (+11.7%)

GROUP 2:     Cologne-Bonn (+30.4%), Alicante (+18.8%), Malaga (+13.5%), Budapest (+12.1%) and Prague (+12.0%)

GROUP 3:     Berlin SXF (+44.0%), Ibiza (+19.1%), Bucharest OTP (+14.7%), Faro and Fuerteventura (+14.3%) and Porto (+14.0%)

GROUP 4:     Santorini/Thira (+141.0%), Bucharest BBU (+129.0%), Ohrid (+98.6%), Liege (+78.9%) and Ponta Delgada (+50.4%)

The 'ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – January 2016’ includes 210 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.


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Notes to Editors

The ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report is a dedicated service for journalists available in the password protected ‘Airport Traffic Report’ section of the ‘Media room’ on our website Accredited members of the media may also access additional traffic analysis and comprehensive traffic databases. For your password to access these sections, please contact us by e-mail at: Your request will be validated and the password will be e-mailed to your work address.


For more information, please contact:

Robert O’MEARA

Director, Media & Communications

ACI EUROPE (Airports Council International)

10, Rue Montoyer (box No 9), 1000 Brussels, Belgium


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