European airport trade body ACI Europe said that in the first six months of 2019, passenger traffic grew by 4.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.
However, this was a significantly slower rate than last year, when traffic grew by 6.7 per cent compared to the same six months in 2017.
The European Union (EU) market maintained steady growth during the first six months of 2019, with passenger traffic performance holding steady between 4.5 per cent to five per cent on a month-by-month basis over the period.
Airports in Austria (+20 per cent), Croatia (+10.5 per cent) and Estonia (+10.5 per cent) posted double-digit growth, with those on Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and Romania also growing well above the EU average.
Passenger traffic in non-EU markets grew slower at 2.9 per cent, due to traffic losses in Turkey (-1.4% – as a result of the recession affecting the country) and Iceland (-20.3 per cent – following the bankruptcy of Wow Air in the final days of March) as well as nearly flat growth in Norway (+0.9 per cent).
However, passenger traffic in Ukraine, Georgia, Albania and Northern Macedonia remained extremely dynamic, achieving double-digit growth.
ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec (pictured above) said: “Passenger traffic growth has certainly slowed this year compared to previous ones, but it still remains quite resilient – especially given the range of economic, geopolitical and other industry-specific challenges we are confronted with.
“Slowing economic growth in Europe, trade wars and Brexit are not helping – and neither are rising fuel bills, ATM disruptions, airline consolidation and aircraft grounding & delivery delays. Aircraft movements have been continuously slowing down – from +6.2% last December to just +1.6% in June. This shows just how risk averse airlines have become in terms of capacity deployment & network development.”