Passenger traffic across the European airport network grew by 6.5 per cent in February, according to the latest traffic report released by ACI Europe.
The European airport trade association said as in previous months, the non-EU market led the growth dynamic at 10.8 per cent, on the back of Turkish airports increasing their passenger traffic by 17.5 per cent.
Gains were especially strong at airports in Georgia (+36%), Israel (+17.1%), Ukraine (+15.1%), Iceland (+11.7%) as well as in the smaller markets of FYROM (+21.8%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (+19.1%) and Montenegro (+17.2%).
Meanwhile, passenger traffic growth in the EU market expanded by 5.2 per cent – the same growth pace as in January. Airports in the Eastern and Southern parts of the bloc along with Finland and Luxembourg significantly outperformed this average.
Accordingly, the following capital city gateways all registered double-digit growth in passenger traffic: Malta (+17.9%), Riga (+17.6%), Vilnius (+16.9%), Bratislava (+16.7%), Luxembourg (+16.1%), Budapest (+15.9%), Lisbon (+14.9%), Tallinn (+14.3%), Prague (+13.4%), Warsaw (+12.8%), Helsinki (+11.9%), Larnaca (+11%), Zagreb (+10.4%) and Ljubljana (+10.2%).
ACI Europe said the demise of Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin continued to weigh on the performance of a number of airports mainly in the UK and Germany – as evidenced by declines in passenger traffic at Birmingham (-5.5%), Dusseldorf (-7.4%) and Berlin TXL (-8.2%). Adverse winter conditions, as well as a number of airline strikes also contributed to lower growth in these countries and in France and Ireland.
The top five European airports saw passenger volumes increase by 7.7 per cent, driven by Istanbul-Atatürk (+17.7%), Amsterdam-Schiphol (+9.6%) and Frankfurt (+8.5%). Lower growth at Paris CDG (+2.6%) reflected the above mentioned weather and airline strikes disruptions, while capacity constraints keep limiting traffic gains at London-Heathrow (+2.4%).
ACI Europe said some large regional airports posted an impressive rise in passenger traffic, driven by particularly successful network development strategies – including: Heraklion (+40.3%), Naples (+41.5%), Sevilla (+32.3%), Valencia (+28.2%), Krakow (+24.6%) and Palermo (+22.1%).