European airports report sky-high passenger traffic for May

Rebecca Smith
ACI Europe said airports across Europe had a solid month
ACI Europe said airports across Europe had a solid month (Source: Getty)

Passenger traffic across European airports continues to fly, with an average increase of 8.2 per cent in May compared to the same period last year.

According to European air trade association ACI Europe, both the European Union and non-EU markets fuelled the momentum, with traffic up 7.7 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively.

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The Southern and Eastern parts of the EU outperformed the bloc's average as 15 countries reported double digit growth, including Croatia, Belgium, Hungary and Poland.

Turkey's airports are slowly on the mend, reporting a mixed though gradually improving performance, according to ACI Europe. The trade body said this was predominantly due to the recovery of the Turkish tourism sector, after the country had been severely impacted by terror attacks and political instability. ACI Europe said the return of Russian tourists to the area was a particular boost.

Of the top five European airports, Amsterdam's Schiphol - which recently overtook Heathrow as the top European airport for connectivity - posted the strongest gain, up 8.1 per cent, followed by Frankfurt on 5.7 per cent, and Paris' Charles de Gaulle up 3.7 per cent. London Heathrow, which is capacity constrained and got the go-ahead for expansion from government last October, recorded an increase in passenger traffic of 2.9 per cent.

ACI said freight traffic posted "an impressive monthly performance", with an increase of 12.2 per cent off the back of improved economic conditions across the world, and a rebound in international trade. Aircraft movements rose by 4.2 per cent, reflecting "solid airline capacity expansion driven by low-cost carriers".

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