Only two of Europe’s top 6 hubs still growing in July

Analysis of Europe’s six major hubs for the first seven months of 2008, shows that Alitalia’s Rome Fiumicino base has taken over from Madrid as Europe’s fastest growing. Madrid’s growth has slowed significantly as a result of an economic downturn in Spain and the launch of more high-speed rail services eating into traffic on its busiest route to Barcelona.

Chart: European major hubs passenger growth from Jan 07 to Jul 08
Source: Airport websites

Rome’s growth is driven by Alitalia’s decision to ditch its Milan Malpensa hub and focus solely on Rome. In addition some LCCs have moved their operations from Rome Ciampino. London’s Heathrow which had been the worst performing of the six for much of this year reported traffic as unchanged in July while Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Madrid all reported declining traffic.

Chart: European minor “hubs”
Source: Airport websites

In June and July none of Europe’s secondary hubs reported traffic growth of more than 10%. However, only Helsinki (in June) and Athens and Dublin (in July) reported a fall in traffic. The re-timing of Easter from April to March had a noticeable impact on several airports.


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