40% of European airports report traffic growth in May according to anna.aero analysis

Sweet May hath come to love us: Although overall European passengers were down 8%, these great route launches contributed to important growth at many airports, with Turkey, Latvia and Morocco’s ‘open-skies’ leading the way.

anna.aero’s May traffic trend data for over 230 airports across Europe is the most comprehensive database you will find anywhere on the web. Remember, if you download the spreadsheet you can sort the data yourself by country, airport, airport size or growth rate for any given month.

In our study over 40% of Europe’s airports reported traffic growth in May though overall passenger numbers were down by around 8%. May is the first month since January when like-for-like comparisons can be made as March and April figures were distorted by the timing of Easter and February lost its leap day. anna.aero has collected trend data for May for over 210 airports across Europe (including Morocco and Turkey). Of these, 47 reported passenger growth, with Trapani in Sicily (+123.7%) leading the way ahead of Allgäu-Memmingen airport in Bavaria. It will come as no surprise to learn that Ryanair has had a significant influence at both of these airports.

Latvia, Morocco and Turkey reporting May growth

Analysis of the airport data available by country reveals that three countries reported growth in May. The ongoing expansion of airBaltic and Turkish Airlines (and Pegasus) has helped deliver positive passenger growth in those markets, while Morocco’s ‘open-skies’ continue to attract new routes and passengers.

Chart: Traffic Growth
Source: Various

For some countries only data for the dominant airport has been used, while ADV in Germany has yet to publish its figures for May so an average of Frankfurt and Munich has been used as these two airports account for nearly 50% of German airport traffic data. Similarly, in France the figures are just for ADP (Paris Orly and CDG), which represents well over half of all French airport traffic. Unfortunately, data for the three biggest airports in Central Europe (Budapest, Prague and Warsaw) was not available for May.

Smallest and biggest airports suffering most

By taking a simple average of ‘growth’ rates across all airports in each size category it appears that the largest and smallest airports seem to be being hit hardest at present. Airports with traffic volumes last year of between two and five million (42 in all) saw traffic fall by under 6% in May. Across the 77 airports with between 100,000 and one million passengers last year, the decline in traffic averaged 9.5%. If we exclude Trapani (growth of 123.7% in May) the average of the remaining 76 airports falls still further to 11.2%.

Chart: Growth in May
Source: Various

Only Istanbul growing among busiest airports

Image: Istanbul
Istanbul Atatürk – the only growing “busiest airport” (Turkish was also the only AEA airline to grow in Q1).  See Istanbul Atatürk in TheRouteShop.com Link Watch the anna.aero interview with the TAV CEO Link

Among Europe’s airports with more than 20 million annual passengers only Istanbul registered growth (of 1.4%), while six airports reported traffic declines of greater than 10%. The worst of these was London Stansted where passenger numbers in May were down 18.5%. Dublin traffic was down almost 15% supporting Ryanair’s view that the recently introduced tourism tax is having a detrimental impact on demand.

Europe’s four busiest hub airports had mixed fortunes. London Heathrow passenger numbers were down just 3.7%, while Paris CDG (-7.0%) and Frankfurt (-6.3%) both did better than Madrid which was down 9.9%. Amsterdam has not yet published its figures for May.

For the full list of all airports and how they have performed so far in 2009 see our downloadable spreadsheet.


  1. RIX says:

    The Riga International 2009 is grooving to fast so fast that you can find on the market the SAS RIX NYC economy extra flight for 1300 EUR and LOT business flight for 1400 EUR. Something is going mad on the airport RIX. Shortly KLM dropped RIX AMS route 100 thousands pax p.a. 2008 and min 26 million EUR turnovers.

  2. PRG says:

    Prague (PRG) recently published -14.0% of overall passengers in May and -14.1% cumulative for 2009 compared to previous year. PRG represents more than 90% of the all Czech market.

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