Overall passenger traffic at European airports grew 4.6%, although aircraft movements produced a near-flat result of 0.2%, compared to October 2012.
Olivier Jankovec, director general, ACI Europe, commented: “While the jury is still out as to whether the Eurozone is slowly on the mend or stuck in stagnation, passenger traffic in the EU has improved markedly in October, growing at 2.8%.
“This is due to an unusual combination of positives across the continent.
“Airports in Portugal, France, Ireland and the UK are catching up with the dynamic growth of Scandinavia while smaller markets like Lithuania, Malta, Luxembourg and Slovenia are performing very strongly.”
He added: “Meanwhile, airports in Greece are back to – still modest – growth and the Spanish market appears to be bottoming out.”
Jankovec believes these are encouraging signals, but cautioned that traffic was still disappointing in major markets, such as Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania.
Year-to-date figures now stand at 2.7% growth (0.7% at EU airports and 10.2% at non-EU airports), while freight is at 0.8% growth and aircraft movements are down 1.5%.
Group 1 (more than 25mppa), Group 2 (10-25mppa), Group 3 (5-10mppa) and Group 4 (less than 5mppa) airports reported an average increase of 4.1%, 5.2%, 4.0% and 5.4%, respectively.
The airports that reported the highest growth year-on-year in each group were:
Group 1 – Antalya (20.2%); Moscow SVO (13.9%); Istanbul IST (9.1%); Paris ORY (8.8%); and Moscow DME (6.4%).
Group 2 – Istanbul SAW (38.9%); St Petersburg (14.3%); Stockholm ARN (7.7%); Berlin TXL (7.1%); and Manchester (6.9%).
Group 3 – Ankara (21.3%); Warsaw WAW (14.2%); Alicante (11.5%); Porto (11.1%); and Izmir (10.4%).
Group 4 – Vatry (39.1%); Skopje (37.6%); Chita (34.3%); Vilnius (29.4%); and Volgograd (29.2%).