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NEWS Last modified on July 12, 2011

European airports break records


Airports in Scandanavia, the UK and central Europe have reported record levels of passengers over the last few months.


Airports in Scandanavia, the UK and central Europe have reported record levels of passengers over the last few months.

Munich Airport recorded an increase of 13% in traffic over the first half of 2011 to hit 18 million passengers – the highest number the airport has ever handled.

Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO of airport operator Flughafen München GmbH (FMG), said: "This is the highest number in the history of Munich Airport. We have never before counted this many passengers in the first half of the year.”

The significant increase at the gateway has been attributed to the rise in passengers travelling to the ‘BRIC’ countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), the airport said.

The number of flight movements at the gateway also increased by more than 9% to a new record of 202,000.

Meanwhile, cargo at Munich Airport also hit record levels of 144,600 tonnes –a 14% increase over the same period a year earlier.

London Heathrow also reported its busiest June on record, handling 6.1 million passengers over the month – 6.3% up on the same period last year.

According to BAA, the airport operator, Heathrow handled a total of 32.9 million passengers in the first half of 2011, an increase of 9.1% on a year earlier thanks to a boost in long-haul traffic and transferring passengers.

Meanwhile, BAA said that all three of its Scottish airports also saw an increase in passengers.  The fastest growth was recorded at Aberdeen ­– up 10.1% ­– with Edinburgh up by 7.6% and Glasgow up by 2.6%. 

June was also a record month for Edinburgh, which has now seen four consecutive months of record traffic.

Various Scandinavian countries also posted record passenger figures. For example, Helsinki–Vantaa Airport said it grew by 18% in the first half of the year, with 7.3 million passengers passing through its gates between January and June.

Kimmo Ruotsalainen, vice president of Finavia Corporation, the Finnish airport operator, said that international passengers totalled 5.9 million – up 17.5% – and domestic traffic reached 1.4 million passengers – up 20% – in June.

He added that the increase was thanks to a boost in European and Asian traffic in particular, as well as a number of new routes and airlines starting operations at the gateway.


Elsewhere, Norwegian airport operator Avinor also said it saw record numbers of passenger across its network of airports between January and June.

During the first half of 2011, more than 21 million passengers travelled to and from Avinor's airports, an increase of 13.7% compared with the first half of last year.

Among the operator’s largest airports in June, Oslo Airport Gardermoen saw growth of 7.9%, Bergen Airport Flesland 10.2%, Trondheim Airport Værnes 9% and Stavanger Airport Sola 8.9%, compared with the same month last year. 

Copenhagen Airport also reported a monthly record in June of 2.1 million passengers travelling through Scandinavia’s largest airport – a 9.2% increase on last year.

Other airports to report increased passenger traffic in June include Vienna International Airport, which saw numbers jump 5.7% due to a rise in travellers to Eastern Europe, and London Gatwick which saw figures grow 5.2% over the month.

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