Passenger traffic in the EU for the month of February this year grew by 6.2 percent, driven in particular by double digit growth in Greece, Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Romania, Hungary and Lithuania, according to data released recently by European airport trade body Airports Council International (ACI) Europe.
“EU passenger traffic keeps outperforming weak economic growth, building upon last year’s dynamic trend”, Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, said.
In February 2015, airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year (Group 1) saw a 2.9 percent increase; airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers (Group 2) reported a rise of 6.8 percent; airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers (Group 3) recorded a 6.3 percent increase and airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Group 4) reported a 6.8 percent increase.
“The outlook is now getting even brighter, as lower oil prices, the ECB’s Quantitative Easing policy and improving consumer confidence should all help further support demand for air travel in the coming months.”
The ACI Europe’s report showed that Athens’ Airport experienced a 24.7 percent increase in passenger traffic in February, the highest rise recorded in Group 2 along with the airports in London, Brussels, Lisbon and Dublin.
The airports of Chania, Mykonos and Santorini also experienced the highest increases in passenger traffic in Europe in February as they reported growth of 94.4 percent, 46.4 percent and 37.8 percent respectively for that month. The three Greek islands are included in Group 4 with the airports of Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Volgograd (Russia).
Meanwhile, non-EU airports last February posted a much lower rate of passenger traffic growth (+1.3 percent), mainly due to traffic losses in Ukraine and Russia as well as the impact of severe weather conditions in parts of Turkey.
“Russian airports are generally seeing a sharp decrease in passenger traffic – with the country entering recession this year for the first time since 2009 and international sanctions taking their toll”, the director general of ACI Europe said.
The ACI Europe Airport Traffic Report – February 2015 includes 209 airports in total representing more than 88 percent of European air passenger traffic. It is the only air transport report which includes all types of civil aviation passenger flights: full service, low cost and charter.