European airport growth keeps soaring as Turkey passenger traffic rebounds

Rebecca Smith
Capacity constrained Heathrow managed to record growth in passenger traffic
Capacity constrained Heathrow managed to record growth in passenger traffic (Source: Getty)

Passenger traffic at Europe's airports continues to grow at a healthy pace, according to the latest figures from trade body ACI Europe.

During the peak month of July, traffic across Europe's airports increased by an average of 9.6 per cent, which ACI Europe said was in line with the dynamics of the previous months. A particular highlight was Turkey, which had been buffeted by terrorism concerns and political instability, but has bounced back from last year's traffic losses.

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The European Union market grew by 7.6 per cent, though this was a slight dip on June's rate of 8.8 per cent. Eastern EU countries continue to fly from strength to strength, with nearly all posting double digit growth.

Passenger traffic in the non-EU market rose by 17.5 per cent, edging ahead of June's 15.1 per cent. Turkey not only recovered from the fall in traffic recorded last year, but expanded further still, propelled by strong demand in Russia.

The performance of the top five European airports also carried on without turbulence in sight, with passenger traffic up 6.3 per cent. Istanbul Atatürk Airport led the way with growth of 17.6 per cent, followed by Amsterdam's Schiphol at 5.6 per cent, Paris Charles de Gaulle posted growth of 5.4 per cent and Frankfurt of 4.4 per cent.

Capacity constrained Heathrow also posted growth in passenger traffic, though it was a more modest 1.2 per cent.

ACI Europe said:

This performance is mainly attributable to the continued momentum in economic expansion, especially in the Eurozone, as well as contained oil prices and the return of stronger demand for air services in Russia and Turkey.

The trade body's report for July includes 247 airports in total, representing over 88 per cent of European air passenger traffic.

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