Germany’s biggest airports all grew in 2012; regional airports mostly lost traffic; over 120 new routes in 2013

airberlin and bmi regional are two of at least 25 airlines that will have started new services to/from German airports by the end of 2013. Last year the country's airports saw passenger growth of just 1%, a figure that should be beaten this year thanks to the introduction of at least 120 new services across the top 20 airports.

Traffic data from ADV for 2012 shows that Germany’s biggest airports handled just over 200 million passengers last year, a 1.1% rise on the 2011 figure. Growth had been positive for most of the year, though November (-2.0%) and December (-4.3%) appear to show a worrying trend. The small growth in overall traffic was thanks to a 4.9% rise in international passenger traffic outside of Europe, and a 2% increase in European international traffic. Domestic traffic, which accounts for around 23% of German airport passengers, was down 3.6% in 2012.

Top 20 German airports Passenger growth in 2012 (annual passengers 2012)

Source: ADV

Germany’s top six airports all reported modest growth in 2012 of between 1% and 2.5% with the notable exception of Berlin Tegel, which saw a surge in traffic and new routes as a result of the expected opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg airport. Of the next 14 busiest airports, 10 saw passenger numbers fall with the notable exceptions being Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (a new Ryanair base in 2012), Allgäu-Memmingen, Dortmund and Leipzig/Halle.

So far in 2013 the news has not been that encouraging. Passenger numbers were down 4.5% in January, and 3.1% in February, though the latter is mainly down to last year being a leap year. March figures will not be helped by a number of strikes that have disrupted flights at several German airports.

Over 120 new services at German airports in 2013

A closer look at Germany’s top 20 airports reveals that between them they will see at least 120 new services launched during 2013, with more possibly still to be announced. Apart from the home carriers of airberlin, germanwings, and Lufthansa, several foreign carriers such as Aegean Airlines, bmi regional, easyJet, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines, Vueling and Wizz Air are all launching multiple new services to German airports in 2013.

Airport (pax 2012) New services in 2013
Frankfurt (57.5m) Barcelona (Vueling), Bristol (bmi regional), Chengdu (Air China), Enfidha (airberlin), Heraklion (Aegean Airlines), Pula (Croatia Airlines), Rostov-on-Don (UTair)
Munich (38.4m) Bordeaux (Volotea), Bristol (bmi regional), Kiev KBP (Ukraine International), Maastricht (Maastricht Airlines), Malaga (Vueling), Omsk (Orenburg Airlines), Prague (CSA Czech Airlines), Tivat (airberlin), Vancouver (Lufthansa), Venice (Air Dolomiti)
Düsseldorf (20.8m) Barcelona (Vueling), Cardiff (germanwings), Chicago O’Hare (American Airlines), Glasgow (germanwings), Heraklion (Aegean Airlines), Jerez (Lufthansa), Mahon (Lufthansa), Reykjavik (WOW air), Rostock-Laage (airberlin), Split (germanwings), Varna (Lufthansa)
Berlin Tegel (18.2m) Bucharest (airberlin), Chicago O’Hare (airberlin), Florence (Vueling), Ibiza (Lufthansa), Kristiansand (Flynonstop), Maastricht (Maastricht Airlines), Madrid (airberlin), Oslo (SAS), Sofia (airberlin), Warsaw (airberlin)
Hamburg (13.7m) Barcelona (germanwings), Bristol (bmi regional), Catania (germanwings), Edinburgh (easyJet), Florence (Vueling), Istanbul SAW (Turkish Airlines), Karlsruhe/Baden (InterSky), Malaga (Vueling), Olbia (germanwings), Rome FCO (easyJet), Split (germanwings)
Stuttgart (9.7m) Adana (Turkish Airlines), Antalya (Turkish Airlines), Barcelona (Vueling), Brindisi (germanwings), Olbia (germanwings)
Cologne/Bonn (9.3m) Faro (Ryanair), Heringsdorf (euroLOT), Malaga (Ryanair), Olbia (germanwings), Palermo (germanwings)
Berlin Schönefeld (7.1m) Edinburgh (easyJet), London Southend (easyJet), Sofia (easyJet)
Hannover (5.3m) Barcelona (Vueling), Bristol (bmi regional), Lamezia Terme (germanwings), Malaga (Vueling), Thessaloniki (Aegean Airlines and germanwings), Venice (germanwings)
Nürnberg (3.6m) Alicante (Ryanair), Cagliari (Ryanair), London City (Air France), London Stansted (Ryanair), Malaga (Ryanair), Pisa (Ryanair), Porto (Ryanair), Thessaloniki (Aegean Airlines)
Hahn (2.8m) Corfu (Ryanair), Rijeka (Ryanair), Tangier (Ryanair), Tirgu Mures (Wizz Air)
Bremen (2.4m) Chania (Ryanair), Dublin (Ryanair), Moscow Domodedovo (Germania), Nice (Germania), Reus (Ryanair), Rome CIA (Ryanair), Thessaloniki (Ryanair), Toulouse (bmi regional),
Leipzig/Halle (2.3m) Faro (Ryanair), Pisa (Ryanair)
Weeze (2.2m) Bergerac (Ryanair), Corfu (Ryanair), Oslo Rygge (Ryanair), Oujda (Ryanair), Paphos (Ryanair), Rijeka (Ryanair), Santander (Ryanair), Tangier (Ryanair), Vilnius (Ryanair)
Dortmund (1.9m) Alghero (Ryanair), Barcelona (Vueling), Debrecan (Wizz Air), Faro (Ryanair), Girona (Ryanair), Heringsdorf (eurolot), Krakow (Ryanair), Malaga (Ryanair), Palma de Mallorca (Ryanair), Porto (Ryanair)
Dresden (1.9m) Barcelona (Vueling), London City (Air France)
Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (1.3m) Marrakech (Ryanair), Hamburg (InterSky)
Münster/Osnabrück (1.0m) Girona (Ryanair), Malaga (Ryanair)
Paderborn/Lippstadt (0.9m) London City (Air France)
Allgäu-Memmingen (0.9m) Chania (Ryanair), Marrakech (Ryanair), Naples (InterSky), Tirgu Mures (Wizz Air)
Source: new route database

Ryanair alone accounts for almost one-third of all new routes in the above table, with the airline extending its reach in Germany to include Dortmund, Münster/Osnabrück and Nürnberg for the first time. It seems that the downside of the much-loathed German environmental tax is more than compensated for by the relative wealth of the German population and their enthusiasm for taking holidays.


  1. james says:

    new flights will also be launched from dortmund to heringdorf by euroLOT, the announcment of flights from Dortmund to the newly opened Lublin Airport in south-east poland are expected this monh

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