Europe’s airports report passengers up 6.5%, freight up 5.7% during February

Europe’s airports report passengers up 6.5%, freight up 5.7% during February
For immediate release 13 April 2018

Brussels, 13 April 2018: European airport trade association, ACI EUROPE today releases its traffic report for February 2018, during which average passenger traffic in geographical Europe grew by +6.5% compared with the same month last year.

As in previous months, the non-EU market led the growth dynamic at +10.8%, on the back of Turkish airports increasing their passenger traffic by an impressive +17.5%. Gains were especially strong at airports in Georgia (+36%), Israel (+17.1%), Ukraine (+15.1%), Iceland (+11.7%) as well as in the smaller markets of FYROM (+21.8%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (+19.1%) and Montenegro (+17.2%).

Meanwhile, passenger traffic growth in the EU market expanded by +5.2% – the exact same growth pace as in January. Airports in the Eastern and Southern parts of the bloc along with Finland and Luxembourg significantly outperformed this average. Accordingly, the following capital city airports all registered double-digit growth in passenger traffic: Malta (+17.9%), Riga (+17.6%), Vilnius (+16.9%), Bratislava (+16.7%), Luxembourg (+16.1%), Budapest (+15.9%), Lisbon (+14.9%), Tallinn (+14.3%), Prague (+13.4%), Warsaw (+12.8%), Helsinki (+11.9%), Larnaca (+11%), Zagreb (+10.4%) and Ljubljana (+10.2%).

The demise of Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin continued to weigh on the performance of a number of airports mainly in the UK and Germany – as evidenced by declines in passenger traffic at Birmingham (-5.5%), Dusseldorf (-7.4%) and Berlin TXL (-8.2%). Adverse winter conditions, as well as a number of airline strikes also contributed to lower growth in these countries and in France and Ireland.

The Majors (top 5 European airports) saw passenger volumes increase by +7.7%, driven by Istanbul-Atatürk (17.7%), Amsterdam-Schiphol (+9.6%) and Frankfurt (8.5%). Lower growth at Paris CDG (+2.6%) reflected the above-mentioned weather and airline strikes disruptions, while capacity constraints keep limiting traffic gains at London-Heathrow (+2.4%).

Some large regional airports posted an impressive rise in passenger traffic, driven by particularly successful network development strategies – including: Heraklion (+40.3%), Naples (+41.5%), Sevilla (+32.3%), Valencia (+28.2%), Krakow (+24.6%) and Palermo (+22.1%).

Freight traffic retained its recent robust growth trend during February at +5.7%. Aircraft movements were up +3.0% – increasing by +2.4% in the EU market and by +4.8% in the non-EU bloc.

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 5 and 10 million passengers (Group 3) and airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Group 4) reported an average adjustment +5.8%, +6.8%, +7.8% and +7.5%.

The airports that reported the highest increases in passenger traffic during February 2018 (compared with February 2017) are as follows:

GROUP 1: Istanbul IST (+17.7%), Istanbul SAW (+15.5%), Lisbon (+14.9%), Amsterdam & Moscow SVO (+9.6%) and Madrid (+9.3%)

GROUP 2: Ankara (+38.6%), Tel Aviv (+19.2%), Budapest (+15.9%), Milan MXP (+13.9%) and Stuttgart (+13.8%)

GROUP 3: Naples (+41.5%), Heraklion (+40.3%), Sevilla (+32.3%), Valencia (+28.2%) and Krakow (+24.6%)

GROUP 4: Zadar (+75.6%), Varna (+75%), Craiova (+62.6%), Lublin (+54%) and Tbilisi (+39%)

The ‘ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Report – February 2018 includes 241 airports in total representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.
ACI EUROPE Airport Traffic Reports are unique in that they are the only ones to include all types of airline passenger flights to, from and within Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

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Notes to Editors

Want more access to the latest airport traffic data? ACI EUROPE has developed a dedicated App providing just that. The App gives you all the usual key figures, but also enabling you to make customised comparison tables & graphs that can be downloaded and shared via email or social media. The App is available for iOS, Android and as a WebApp. To find out more, go to

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, 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. Our members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe: 2 billion passengers, 20 million tonnes of freight and 23.7 million aircraft movements in 2016. These airports contribute to the employment of 12.3 million people, generating €675 billion each year (4.1%) of GDP in Europe.


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