Passenger growth at European airports to soften as airline woes take their toll

Rebecca Smith
ACI Europe said the impact of Monarch's collapse was still to be felt
ACI Europe said the impact of Monarch's collapse was still to be felt (Source: Getty)

Passenger growth across Europe's airports is expecting to slow as airline troubles take their toll, according to the latest report from ACI Europe.

The European airport trade body said that during the peak month of August, traffic at airports grew 8.7 per cent, a dip from July's 9.6 per cent.

While that is the best August performance so far this century, ACI Europe said airports are soon likely to be buffeted by the impact of troubles at several airlines.

Read more: Top executive at Ryanair steps down after mass flight cancellation trouble

Olivier Jankovec, ACI Europe's director general, said:

While the macroeconomic environment remains the best in years, we are probably going to see some further softening of passenger traffic growth in the coming months.

The woes of Ryanair are already taking their toll and the impact of the bankruptcies of Alitalia, Air Berlin and Monarch has yet to unfold. It is doubtful that the full extent of the capacity offered by these airlines will remain in the market.

Last month Ryanair announced a wave of flight cancellations due to the mismanagement of pilot holiday, later saying 34 routes would be suspended into next year.

And there have been a raft of announcements surrounding airline troubles, with Monarch announcing last week it had ceased trading, after Air Berlin filed for insolvency in August and Alitalia went into administration in May.

The easing in passenger traffic growth in August was primarily because of slower, though still significant, growth at non-EU airports, up 14.2 per cent in August compared to 17.5 per cent the month before.

Heathrow continued to trail the rest of the European hub airports, with the London airport awaiting a capacity boost from its expansion plans. Growth across the five major European airports was up 5.5 per cent, softening slightly from the 6.3 per cent in July. Istanbul Atatürk led the way, followed by Amsterdam's Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Frankfurt, and then Heathrow with 1.9 per cent growth.

Read more: MPs mull probe into Monarch collapse as union calls for investigation

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