Following a period of several years during which passenger traffic grew at a much faster pace in non-EU countries such as Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and others, the tide has turned to find EU airports now reporting higher growth than their non-EU counterparts.
In the month, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports grew by 5.5% morespecifically, while growth at airports in the EU reported a good result of 5.6%year-on-year.
At non-EU airports in Europe (including Iceland, Norway, Russia, Switzerland & Turkey), traveller traffic grew by 5.1%over the same period, effectively flipping the difference between EU and non-EU performance, in favour of EU airports.
Meanwhile, freight traffic reported growth of 3.1%while aircraft movements were up 2.2%.
In October the gateways which reported the highest increases in traffic included Istanbul (+12.8%), Athens (+28%), Brussels (+19.4%), London Stansted (+16.9%), Maribor (+79%), Belgrade (+38.1%), and Ostrava (+30.5%).
Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, says: “For the first time since 2006, EU airports have outpaced non-EU ones in terms of air traffic growth.
“Airports in Russia are experiencing a significant slowdown in passenger traffic against the background of increasing recessionary risks for the Russian economy – due to the continued impact of sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, structural problems and now falling energy prices.
“In the other major non-EU aviation market – Turkey, airports are also experiencing slower growth in passenger traffic, with the notable exception of those airports serving Istanbul.
“Meanwhile, EU airports continue to experience dynamic increases in air traffic – in sharp contrast to anemic economic growth in the Eurozone. The increase in passenger traffic is particularly impressive in Greece, Romania, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal and Lithuania.”
He adds: “At a time when Europe is desperate to boost growth and jobs, the dynamism of air traffic in the EU speaks volumes about the strategic relevance of aviation for our economies.
“Airport and airlines are providing the connectivity that businesses – big and small – rely upon to expand in new markets and attract investment to Europe. As such, the EU’s growth and jobs agenda must support further developments in air connectivity.”
The ACI Europe Airport Traffic Reportfor Octoberincludes 205 airports, and represents 88% of air traffic in Europe.