Porto Airport passes 8 million passenger mark in 2015; Turkish Airlines arrived while easyJet and Ryanair expanded their networks
Located in northern Portugal along the Douro River estuary, Porto is the country’s second biggest city with an urban population of around 2.2 million people. The city’s airport is located around 11 kilometres northwest of the city centre. Since 1996 passenger numbers at the airport have quadrupled from under two million to over eight million. This is equivalent to average growth of 7.7% per annum during that period. Arguably, even more impressive has been the airport’s growth in the last three years with traffic up 34% since 2012. With almost 17% growth in 2015 Porto Airport was one of Europe’s fastest-growing airports of its size.
The airport’s seasonality profile is quite similar to that of Portugal’s biggest airport at Lisbon. With a SVID score of 4.64 (“Good”) it shows slightly more seasonality than Lisbon (SVID score of 3.68, also “Good”) but far less seasonality than Faro (SVID score of 36.63). August is the airport’s peak month with demand typically around twice as high as in February.
Ryanair is #1 airline
Analysis of OAG schedule data for 2015 and 2014 shows that Ryanair is the leading carrier at Porto, having made the airport its 33rd designated base as long ago as September 2009. Last year it extended its lead over TAP Portugal by growing capacity by 18%. Three other LCCs (shown in bright green) make the list of the airport’s top 12 airlines, and they all grew seat capacity last year by more than 25%. Conversely, the airport’s two leading legacy carriers, TAP Portugal and Lufthansa, only grew their seat capacity by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.
easyJet, which first served Porto in 2007 from its Geneva base, made the Portuguese airport a designated base last summer and doubled the number of destinations served during summer from six to 12. New routes launched last year were Bristol, London Luton, Luxembourg, Manchester, Nantes and Stuttgart. Among the airlines welcomed to Porto in 2015 for the first time was Turkish Airlines, which began four times weekly flights from Istanbul Atatürk on 30 April last year and Czech Airline which began twice-weekly flights to Prague on 22 May.
France remains #1 country market
A similar analysis of the leading country markets for 2015 and 2014 shows that the top 12 have remained the same, and in the same order! The top 10 country markets are all in Europe, with Brazil and Angola the leading non-European markets (shown in bright green). Growth rates among the top 12 country markets varied between plus 37% for the Luxembourg market to minus 2% for the Netherlands. France remains by far the biggest country market, with Paris served particularly well by Aigle Azur (Orly), easyJet (CDG), Ryanair (Beauvais and Vatry), TAP Portugal (Orly), Transavia France (Orly) and Vueling (Orly). Just outside the top 12 are Canada and the US, with Turkey and the Czech Republic new country markets in 2015.
New routes to eight countries already planned in 2016
Last week saw the launch of the first new service of 2016 when British Airways began four times weekly flights from London Gatwick. At present a further eight new routes are expected to start during the summer season spread across seven different country markets. The only duplication is in Germany, where both Lufthansa and Transavia are planning to start competing services from Munich. All of these routes will be launched by foreign carriers, with frequencies ranging between one and four flights per week. Wizz Air’s recently announced twice-weekly service from Warsaw Chopin, set to launch in mid-May, will be the airline’s first service to Porto, and also the airport’s first direct service to Poland.
|Launch date||Destination||Country||Carrier||Aircraft (WF)|
|11 February||London (LGW)||UK||British Airways||A32S (4)|
|27 March||Munich (MUC)||Germany||Transavia||B738 (3)|
|28 March||Copenhagen (CPH)||Denmark||Ryanair||B738 (3)|
|28 March||Lyon (LYS)||France||Aigle Azur||A320 (3)|
|24 April||Munich (MUC)||Germany||Lufthansa||A320 (4)|
|30 April||Amsterdam (AMS)||Netherlands||Vueling||A320 (1)|
|15 May||Warsaw (WAW)||Poland||Wizz Air||A320 (2)|
|20 May||Funchal (FNC)||Portugal||easyJet||A320 (4)|
|3 June||Zurich (ZRH)||Switzerland||Vueling||A320 (3)|
|Source: anna.aero’s New Route Database.|
However, TAP Portugal appears to be dropping four routes at the end of the current W15/16 season. After the end of March the Star Alliance carrier is no longer selling seats for flights to Barcelona, Brussels, Milan Malpensa and Rome Fiumicino. These services are all operated on TAP Portugal’s behalf by Portugalia, which will be rebranded as TAP Express from the start of the S16 season. It is worth noting that Barcelona is already served by Ryanair and Vueling; Brussels by Brussels Airlines, Ryanair and Vueling; Milan by Ryanair (to Milan/Bergamo); and Rome by Ryanair (to Rome Ciampino).