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Passenger traffic growth slows down to 3 year low during August


10 Oct 2016


Trade & Society

Brussels, 10 October 2016: European airport trade association, ACI EUROPE today releases its traffic report for August 2016. This is the only air transport report which includes all types of airline passenger flights to from and within Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

Passenger traffic across the European airport network in August reported an average increase of just +2.0% - the weakest monthly performance in 3 years.


This slowdown in growth, which started last April, is entirely attributable to a -6.2% drop in passenger traffic in the non-EU market. This is mainly due to airports in Turkey experiencing a dramatic fall in demand (-14.9%) in the wake of the failed coup last July, followed to a lesser extent by Russian airports (-5.5%). However, Iceland continued to stand apart not just from other non-EU market airports but from all European markets, with Keflavik airport registering stellar growth (+35.4%).

Conversely, passenger traffic at EU airports remained fairly dynamic at +4.5%.


However, part of this performance is attributable to demand shifting from Turkey to other Southern and Eastern European States – giving a boost to many airports serving prime leisure destinations in countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain. These include: Larnaca (+21%), Tenerife-South (+20.7%), Varna (+17.3%), Bourgas (+17.2%), Gran Canaria (+14.7%), Alicante (+14.8%), Faro (+14.2%), Valencia (+13.7%), Split (+12.9%) and Dubrovnik (+12.8%).

The EU market also showed significant variations in performance. Airports in the core economies of France and Germany barely grew due to terrorism threats taking a toll on demand – while growth at UK airports remained slightly above the EU average. Airports in Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and Romania experienced very dynamic growth – but those in Austria, Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia generally posted traffic losses.  

Among the top 5 European hubs, Amsterdam-Schiphol was the only one seeing passenger traffic growing (+7.9%). Capacity constrained London-Heathrow was flat (+0.1%) while Paris-CDG, Frankfurt and Istanbul-Atatürk posted significant declines (-2.4%, -5% and -5.3% respectively).

Freight traffic across the European airport network grew by +4.5% and aircraft movements were up +2.4% across Europe – pointing to continued - albeit increasingly selective - airline capacity expansion.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE said “These latest figures for August are essentially telling us 3 things: 1. Geopolitical and terrorism risks are increasingly shaping traffic performance for Europe’s airports; 2. Tourism & leisure demand remains a key factor for achieving growth and resilience; 3. Low Cost Carriers keep driving traffic growth, with medium sized airports benefitting the most.”


During the month of August, 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 -1.7%, +4.9%, +8.2% and +2.1%.

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

GROUP 1:     Dublin (+9.0%), Amsterdam (+7.9%),

Barcelona (+6.8%), Copenhagen (+6.6%), London LGW (+5.7%)

GROUP 2:     Gran Canaria (+17.4%), Alicante and Warsaw WAW (+14.8%),

Cologne-Bonn (+13.7%), Birmingham (+13.0%) and Malaga (+12.5%)

GROUP 3:     Berlin SXF (+42.7%), Larnaca (+21.0%),

Tenerife TFS (+20.7%), Bucharest OTP (+17.0%) and Faro (+14.2%)

GROUP 4:    Oradea (+174.6%), Palanga (+60.9%),

Kharkiv (+52.9%), Bucharest BBU (+41.0%) and Keflavik (+35.4%)

The 'ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – August 2016’ includes 212 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

mobile: +32 (0)486 54 14 71 or tel: +32 (0)2 552 09 82.


ACI EUROPE is the European region of Airports Council International (ACI), the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI EUROPE represents over 500 airports in 45 European countries. In 2014, our member airports handled over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe, welcoming more than 1.8 billion passengers, 18.4 million tonnes of freight and 21.2 million aircraft movements. These airports contribute to the employment of 12.3 million people, generating €675 billion each year (4.1%) of GDP in Europe.