Analysis of data at 300 European airports reveals winners and losers in 2010 by airport and country; demand up 4.8%


We think anna.aero’s database of traffic and trend data from some 300 European airports is the very best and biggest available indicator of what really happened in 2010 in terms of showing which countries have been most (and least) affected by recent economic and aviation developments. Significantly, the data reveals a whole picture of greater Europe, including countries such as Russia and Turkey, as well as Morocco in the periphery of the region.

With traffic data for all of 2010 now available for most of Europe’s airports, anna.aero this week takes a closer look at how different airports and countries compared during what was another difficult year for many European economies, but on the whole rather better than 2009.

European traffic

Source: Various *In some cases, data for only the largest airports in a country has been used. For Russia, data is based on January-November. For Romania and Ukraine, data is based on January-September. For Slovenia, data is based on January-August. NB: Dark green bars highlight Europe’s five biggest air travel countries; France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.

Unlike last year, when only four of 33 countries analysed reported growth, this year all but six countries saw an increase in passenger numbers through their airports. The economic problems of Greece and Ireland are clearly reflected in their country’s airport statistics. Three of the other countries reporting a decline in air traffic demand are in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia), but tellingly also includes the UK, the EU’s third-largest economy and its biggest air transport market.

The UK may have been hit harder than many by the Icelandic volcano fall-out in April, coped badly with bad weather at the beginning and end of the year, and seen British Airways have its fair share of industrial problems, but this result should be considered very alarming to the UK coalition government currently trying to revive the country’s economy. The increase in APD (Air Passenger Duty) is unlikely to help improve matters in 2011.

Many of the fastest-growing countries were relatively small markets dominated by one airport, but the performances of Russia (after a poor 2009) and especially Turkey (which also grew in 2009) are particularly noteworthy.

Biggest airport winners and losers

The performance of significant commercial airports across Europe (reporting airports must have at least 100,000 passengers) varied from those where passenger numbers increased by more than 50% (three airports) to those where traffic was down more than 20% (also three airports). Below are listed the top 10 airports at both ends of the performance spectrum.

Airport 2010 v 2009 Airport 2010 v 2009
Kaunas (KUN) +77.3% Shannon (SNN) -37.2%
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW) +70.8% Durham Tees Valley (MME) -22.1%
Trapani (TPS) +57.5% Hamburg Lübeck (LBC) -21.9%
Brindisi (BDS) +47.2% Brescia (VBS) -19.6%
Rimini (RMI) +45.1% Newquay (NQY) -18.9%
Nador (NDR) +43.3% Granada (GRX) -17.7%
Fez (FEZ) +40.1% Murcia (MJV) -17.3%
Diyarbakir (DIY) +32.5% Reus (REU) -16.7%
Brussels Charleroi (CRL) +32.0% Humberside (HUY) -15.7%
Maastricht (MST) +30.6% Blackpool (BLK) -14.9%
Source: anna.aero European Airport Traffic Trends Database
Airports analysed must have handled at least 100,000 passengers in 2010.

Impressively, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen and Trapani appear in the fastest-growing airports for a second consecutive year, while Durham Tees Valley achieves the dubious distinction of being among the fastest-shrinking airports in Europe for the second year running. They are joined by three other UK regional airports (Blackpool, Humberside and Newquay), reflecting the problems in the UK market in 2010. Spanish airports accounted for three of the bottom 10 airports, with Granada, Murcia and Reus all seeing traffic fall by between 15% and 20%.

The top 10 fastest-growing airports include three in Italy, two in Morocco and two in Turkey, although the overall winner is Kaunas in Lithuania, which benefited from Ryanair making it a base in May 2010 and increasing its network from seven to 18 destinations.

For more detailed figures on the performance of Europe’s airports, click here.


Comments

  1. Andy Hofton says:

    Airport numbers — great, just what I needed right this minute! Usesrs just be careful that some of the airports are year to date so if you look at totals in column P for 2010, the total mignt not be a full 12 months. Small point made by a nit picker!

  2. Simon says:

    If you want to know the main reason for Humberside’s fall it was the collapse of Goldtrail Holidays. Also the first 4 months of 2009 saw an outbased Thomas Cook Airlines B757 for 2-4 days a week, which did not return in 2010. There was also a reduction in Palma charter flights. The impact of the ash cloud and bad weather was pretty minimal as they occured in months when passenger levels are low anyway.

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