Iasi Airport grows by 600% in eight years; TAROM adds Milan/Bergamo and Tel Aviv in 2014
Located in the historical region of Moldova, Iasi Airport is the primary international gateway for the north-eastern part of Romania, serving a catchment area of over 3.7 million people. Furthermore, Iasi is currently classified as the country’s sixth busiest airport, above Sibiu, and serves as an operating base for TAROM. In fact, the Romanian flag carrier has inaugurated its seventh route from Iasi, with the addition of weekly flights to Milan/Bergamo on 13 June.
Examination of data facilitated by the Romanian airport indicates that passenger traffic at Iasi has visibly soared between 2005 and 2013, growing by 600% over this timeframe. The airport handled 230,000 passengers in 2013, a number that increased from the 42,000 recorded nine years ago. Also noteworthy is the fact that Iasi continued to grow even in the worst years of the economic recession, experiencing a 7.3% growth in 2010 when compared to the previous year. In the first five months of 2014, for which traffic data is already available, the airport posted an increase of 28% when compared to the corresponding period of 2013, with 96,000 passengers achieved until end-May. If the airport continues on this growth trajectory, it will achieve close to 300,000 passengers in 2014, based on anna.aero forecasts.
Iasi labelled “good” by SVID
Entering Iasi’s monthly passenger data for 2013 into anna.aero’s Seasonal Variation in Demand (SVID) calculator, the airport performs well, producing a score of 7.88, giving it a “good rating”. Nevertheless, against its airport peers from Romania, its 2013 score is worse than the country’s third busiest airport — Timisoara, which achieved an excellent rating of 1.56. In addition, Iasi performs marginally lower than the one million passenger facility at Cluj-Napoca, having been labelled 5.51 by SVID, due to traffic being more evenly spread throughout the year.
Six countries served
Analysis of Innovata schedule data for June 2014 reveals that a total of three carriers operate from Iasi to six countries, with the Romanian capital being the most frequently served destination due to TAROM’s 26 weekly operations. As a matter of fact, air travel at Iasi is dominated by the flag carrier (accounting for almost 85% of weekly seats), which focuses not only on the domestic market, but also on destinations within Europe and Western Asia. In December 2012, TAROM made Iasi its second base (after Bucharest), and since then it has gradually increased its network from just one airport served to a total of eight destinations this summer. Besides Milan/Bergamo, the SkyTeam member commenced weekly flights Tel Aviv on 7 April. Notably, TAROM also introduced changes to its UK operations from Iasi on 29 October, when it shifted its twice-weekly flights from London Heathrow to London Luton.
|Vienna||Austrian Airlines (6)|
|Rome Fiumicino||TAROM (4)|
|Zakinthos||Blue Air (1)|
|Source: Innovata / Diio Mi 17-23 June 2014. WF = Weekly frequencies.|
New runway by January 2015
Following a €60 million investment, Iasi is undergoing a major development project, including the construction of a 2,400 metre runway, an extension to the apron, as well as a new terminal building that will handle up to 320 passengers per hour. According to the airport’s masterplan, the runway will be finalised by 30 November, but is likely to become fully operational starting from January next year, being capable of handling wide-body aircraft such as 767-300s. However, from 20 August, all the current operations will be moved to the new runway due to the first 1,950 metres becoming available.