The decision by Ryanair to make Bratislava a base from the beginning of the S15 season resulted in two new routes (Athens and Madrid), followed by Berlin later in the year. Ryanair’s growth at the airport of almost 25% to just over one million passengers helped the Slovakian airport reach almost 1.6 million passengers in 2015.
- Bratislava Airport: Over 1.56 million passengers passed through Slovakia’s biggest airport in 2015, an increase of 15.4% over the 2014 figure. Scheduled passenger numbers were up 23% to 1.07 million while non-scheduled traffic was up 2% to 0.48 million. Ryanair is the dominant carrier at the airport and made it a base at the start of the summer season, launching new routes to Athens and Madrid. The top five destinations in 2015 were London, Antalya, Dublin, Milan and Rome. Ryanair will this summer serve a total of 19 destinations from Bratislava, up from 17 last summer. Berlin flights began at the end of October, while a weekly Corfu service will begin at the end of April. In addition, Liverpool flights will switch to Manchester, while Brussels flights will switch from Charleroi to Brussels. Another milestone for the airport is the return of Wizz Air, which will begin service from Skopje at the end of March. The ULCC briefly operated a service to Rome Fiumicino at the end of 2009.
- Copenhagen Airport: The Danish airport has reported processing 26.61 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 3.8% on its 2014 figure. November and December have seen the biggest monthly increases of 12.2% and 12.5% respectively. While domestic traffic was down 2.9% for the year, European traffic was up 4.4% and intercontinental demand up 3.6%. Among the airport’s top 10 destinations eight grew by less than 5%. The two notable exceptions were London, already the airport’s busiest route, which grew by 17% and Milan which was up 22%. The key driver of this growth has been Ryanair, which launched daily flights between Copenhagen and London Luton in March 2015, and now operates the route with four daily flights. Milan’s traffic has been boosted by Ryanair’s double-daily service from Milan/Bergamo, which also launched at the start of the summer season.
- Istanbul Atatürk Airport: Turkey’s busiest airport has overtaken Frankfurt in 2015 to become Europe’s third busiest. According to official statistics from DHMI and Fraport, the Turkish hub handled 61.323 million passengers (up 8.1%) compared with 61.032 million at the German hub. However, without Lufthansa’s strikes in November (when Frankfurt’s traffic was down 11.2%) the German airport would probably have just hung on. Europe’s only two busier airports are Paris CDG (65.767 million) and London Heathrow (74.959 million).
- JetBlue Airways: This winter the US carrier will be operating a record 223 routes according to OAG Schedules Analyser data for the first week of February. That’s 19 more than last winter and even 11 more than during last summer’s peak August period. The average weekly frequency is just under 14, which is equivalent to two daily flights. In 2015 the airline carried a record 35.1 million passengers, up 9.4%, at an average load factor of 84.7%.
Norwegian launched a new service from Oslo to Pristina in April 2015. This contributed to the Norwegian airport seeing its passenger numbers grow by 1.7% in 2015 while passengers as a whole across all of Norway’s airports fell by 1.0% to just under 54 million.
- Norway: The number of passengers passing through Norway’s airports in 2015 was down 1.0% to just under 54 million. Domestic traffic was down 1.5% while international traffic was up very slightly by 0.3%. The country’s biggest airport, Oslo Gardermoen, did better than most, reporting growth of 1.7% to 24.68 million.
- Ryanair: The Irish ULCC has launched just one new route from its relatively small London Luton base since the beginning of 2013. However, that one new route, to Copenhagen which launched last March, is served with more weekly flights this summer (27) than any of its other London Luton routes, including Dublin (21 weekly flights). According to our analysis, Ryanair has served 36 destinations from London Luton at one time or other, of which only 17 will be served this summer.
- Turkey: Government statistics show that the country’s airports handled 181.4 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 9.4% on the figure for 2014. Three airports have passed the 100,000 annual passenger mark for the first time and will thus be included in our European airports database starting with January 2016 figures. The three airports are; Ordu-Giresun (196,385), Bursa Yenisehir (186,703) and Canakkale (168,031). A total of 42 Turkish airports handled more than 100,000 passengers last year.