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NEWS Last modified on October 12, 2015

Traffic on the rise at Europe's airports

Traffic continues to rise at Europe's major hubs, if the passenger figures announced today by Copenhagen and Heathrow airports are a sign of the times.

Copenhagen Airport, always one of the first to announce its monthly traffic statistics, registered a 6.1% increase in throughput during September.

Indeed, the Danish airport set a new record for the month of September with almost 2.5 million passengers passing through its facilities.

The upturn means that for the first time ever Copenhagen Airport has handled in execess of 20 million passengers in the first nine months of a calendar year.

“We had a strong month in September, with traffic growing on both long-haul and European routes. More routes and higher frequencies mean we are able to attract more tourists and business travellers to Denmark, and the number of incoming travellers has increased," says CEO, Thomas Woldbye.

"It also makes the world’s markets even more accessible for the business community. This is essential for creating growth and jobs throughout Denmark,” said Thomas Woldbye, CEO of Copenhagen Airports A/S.

European traffic was up by 7.%, and international traffic was up by 4.4% in September. Domestic traffic fell by 3.3% due to a drop in capacity, including on the largest domestic route to Aalborg. Transfer traffic fell by 2.3%.
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Meanwhile, Heathrow handled 6.7 million passengers (+2.9%) and 40,292 flights during the month, also making it its busiest September on record for passenger volumes.

According to the airport, larger, quieter aircraft continued to be a driver for passenger growth at Heathrow. 

Seats per aircraft increased 2% to 208.9 while passengers per aircraft rose 1.2% to 167.9.

Within emerging markets, says Heathrow, passenger volumes were particularly strong to Mexico which was up 16.5%, China up 11.9% and to the Middle East which was up 7.2% as carriers continue to benefit from new A380s.

Cargo volumes at Heathrow, the UK’s biggest port by value, grew 1.4% over the past 12 months, with increases to notable emerging markets including 36% to Mexico, 25% to Turkey, 13% to Brazil and 5% to India.

Not one to miss the opportunity to remind the UK government of the airport's importance to the national economy, Heathrow CEO. John Holland-Kaye, notes: “With Heathrow expansion, we have a once in a generation opportunity to create 180,000 jobs and provide future generations with the sustainable infrastructure they’ll need to keep Britain at the heart of the global economy. 

"The Chancellor called for Britain to build the new roads, railways and runways it needs to prosper. Heathrow is ready to build – let’s make it happen.”

• Frankfurt Airport appears to have bulked the trend by announcing a 1.2% drop in passenger numbers during September, although the dip can be attributed to strikes at Lufthansa on September 8 and 9.

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