Athens International Airport (AIA) is among the leading 25 airports in Europe, in terms of passenger traffic, according to data released last week by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service.
AIA is ranked 22nd among 150 airports handling a total number of 21.7 million passengers in 2017. Total passenger traffic through Greek airports came to 50 million last year, up by 10.2 percent compared to 2016. Broken down 33.3 million were from EU countries, 8.5 million were non-EU nationals and 8.3 million were Greeks.
At the top of Eurostat’s list is Heathrow Airport in London, serving 78 million passengers up by 3 percent compared to 2016, followed by Paris’ Charles de Gaulle with 69 million (stronger by 5 percent) and Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam with 68 million (up by 8 percent).
According to Eurostat figures, travel flows through EU airports broke all records in 2017 exceeding 1 billion passengers and stronger by 71 million compared to 2016. Compared to 2016, passenger flows have increased by 7 percent and by 39 percent against 2009 figures.
Incoming traffic at AIA in 2017 grew by 8.6 percent, while performance for 2018 is expected to be even higher according to 11-month data to November at 22.58 million passengers, up by 11.2 percent: domestic up by 5.3 percent and international by 14.2 percent.
November alone saw a 12.3 percent rise in passenger traffic to 1.62 million passengers with the number of domestic passengers up by 9.8 percent and international travelers by 13.5 percent.
In terms of overall passenger flows in the EU, the UK welcomed 265 million passengers in 2017, followed by Germany at 212 million, Spain with 210 million, France at 154 million and Italy with 144 million.
Eurostat notes that passenger traffic in 2017 rose in all EU member states compared to 2016 with the highest increases recorded in Slovenia – up by 20 percent, Luxembourg, Estonia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic (19 percent), Romania, Croatia and Malta (18 percent), Poland and Portugal (17 percent).
According to Eurostat, airport traffic within the EU accounts for nearly half (47 percent) of total air transport.