Nordic airports reporting solid growth in 2010-11; Keflavik, Gothenburg and Malmö all up more than 20% in May

Linnéa, a young Gothenburg consumer, cuts the ribbon for Norwegian’s new route to Pristina (Kosovo) – one of five new services launched from Gothenburg this week. As more future travellers set about attacking the cake, Norwegian took the opportunity to announce three more winter routes from the Swedish airport to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Salzburg.

This week we take a look at the performance during the last year of our basket of 12 Nordic airports. These airports were hardest by the airspace closures following the volcanic ash cloud emanating from Iceland last April. As a result the percentage change in year-on-year traffic figures shows a huge drop last April, and a compensatory spike this April, with all airports reporting at least a 35% growth in traffic figures. More revealingly, May data shows nine out of the 12 airports growing by at least 10%, and the remaining three (Billund, Copenhagen and Stockholm Skavsta) all reporting growth of at least 5%.

Source: Swedavia, Avinor, Finavia, CPH Airport, Billund Airport, Keflavik Airport, Stockholm Skavsta Airport

Source: Swedavia, Avinor, Finavia, CPH Airport, Billund Airport, Keflavik Airport, Stockholm Skavsta Airport

Since last April the only airports reporting a year-on-year drop in traffic in any month were Keflavik (in May 2010), Helsinki (in December 2010), Billund (in both February and March 2011) and Stockholm Skavsta (down by more than 10% from November 2010 to March 2011 as Ryanair reduced capacity during the less profitable / unprofitable winter peak period). In the most recent month (May), three airports reported year-on-year growth of more than 20%; Gothenburg, Keflavik and Malmö.

Copenhagen extends lead over Oslo and Stockholm

For 2010 as a whole Copenhagen remained the region’s busiest airport with 21.5 million passengers, up 9% after falling 8% in 2009. As a result the airport narrowly failed to reach the record it set in 2008. Oslo remains in second place with 19.1 million, with traffic up 5.5% after falling 6.5% in 2009. Again the airport just failed to match its previous best year of 2008. Stockholm Arlanda was once more in third place with 17.0 million passengers, up 6% but still over a million passengers down on its record 2008 figures of 18.1 million.

Fourth ranked Helsinki saw only modest growth of 1.6% in 2010, and recently lost easyJet as a customer at the airport when the London Luton based carrier axed its three routes to London, Manchester and Paris. However, pan-Nordic carrier has now set up a base in the Finnish capital and hopes to do better than either easyJet or now-defunct Danish LCC Sterling which tried something similar several years ago.


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