Zaragoza gets Expo-boost; maintains 18% growth for second successive year

Image: Lead Image
Fluvi, the mascot of the Zaragoza Expo, is described as “a courageous and funny little drop of water who will shape a greener and less polluted world with a little help from his friends.” Zaragoza’s real-life friends, including the Expo and Ryanair, helped it to a gravity-defying 18% growth this year.

Located half-way between Madrid and Barcelona (about 270 kilometres from both cities), Zaragoza hosted this year’s water-themed Expo2008 from mid-June to mid-September. As part of the preparations for such a prestigious event the airport got a stylish new terminal to cater for the recent, and forecast, growth in air traffic.

Passenger numbers have almost tripled in the last four years following a period where, if anything, traffic had been falling. Much o this growth can be attributed to Ryanair who started a London Stansted service in December 2004 and has since added Milan Bergamo (February 2005), Rome Ciampino (summer 2007) as well as Alicante and Brussels Charleroi at the start of this summer.

So far in 2008 Ryanair’s five routes have accounted for over 53% of the airport’s traffic. The only other carriers currently operating at the airport are Air Europa and Iberia.

Chart: Traffic
Source: AENA

Iberia provides double-daily flights to Madrid to feed its major hub and also operates domestically to Seville and Vigo. It also operates international routes to Frankfurt, Lisbon and Paris CDG.

Chart: Zargoza airport seasonality
Source: AENA

Although traffic has been booming the seasonality profile has remained unchanged apart from the impact of having Easter in March this year rather than April. While traffic was up around 20% each month during the period of the Expo, in October traffic growth had fallen to just 5%.

Ryanair has five of top 6 routes

Analysis of the airport’s leading routes shows that five of the top six routes are those operated by Ryanair, with Milan Bergamo leading the way. The new routes to Alicante and Brussels are already ranked fourth and fifth. The Palma de Mallorca route is operated by Air Europa as is the Tenerife route. Iberia’s hub-feeding route to Madrid only ranks eighth.

Chart: Top 12 routes at Zargoza
Source: AENA

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