French airports saw traffic grow a modest 4% in 2007. The two main Paris airports still handle 60% of all French airport traffic and Air France continues to maintain its stranglehold on French domestic routes. But foreign LCCs are growing fast and now even Air France is involved in one. Which airports are growing fastest and which rely almost totally on LCCs?
The Lone Star state is around 25% bigger than France and its airports handle a similar number of passengers. Dallas and Houston both have airports ranked in the world’s top 20 but there are also a dozen other airports of note. American, Continental and Southwest share almost 90% of the domestic market, but who dominates international routes?
One of three Baltic states to join the EU in May 2004 traffic at the country’s main airport of Riga has quadrupled in just four years. National airline AirBaltic has been growing fast but Ryanair has over 25% of the traffic and operates to 12 destinations despite having no aircraft based there. Who else is contributing to Latvia’s growth and what’s happening in Liepaja?
Home to some of the world’s tallest buildings and a Formula 1 Grand Prix, Malaysia’s airport traffic figures are dominated by Kuala Lumpur’s now 10-year-old airport at Sepang. Which other airports handle over one million passengers per year and how competitive has Air Asia become in just a few years? And which major countries are not served directly?
Despite Alitalia’s woes growth at Italian airports averaged over 10% last year. Which were the fastest growing and which airport was the only member of the “1 Million” club to see traffic fall? What share of capacity do the major players have at Italy’s top 15 airports? In the major country markets what roles do LCCs and foreign carriers play?
Without an ‘open-skies’ agreement with Europe and without the same all-year-round sunshine as Egypt, Tunisia has struggled in recent years to maximise its tourism potential. Early indications are that 2007 wasn’t a great year either so why is a Turkish company building a new airport only 60 kilometres from Monastir? And why are there hardly any LCCs in the market?
A country that has removed a tax on aviation? Surely some mistake. But what effect has it had on Danish air travel, especially in the domestic market? Apart from Copenhagen which other Danish airports have international services and what impact are LCCs having in the country? What role have bridges played in recent traffic trends?
Another country expecting a travel boost from a major sporting event (though not until 2010) is South Africa. Traffic here is focussed at three main airports. South African Airways (SAA) is coming under increasing pressure from LCCs so it launched its own, Mango. On the biggest domestic routes passengers now have a choice of six airlines.
Portugal has finally begun to embrace LCCs and international passenger numbers are booming in Faro, Lisbon and Porto. easyJet is big in Lisbon while Ryanair is rivalling TAP Portugal in Porto. TAP is struggling to make profits but has recently absorbed Portugalia to help provide long-haul feed. Brazil and Angola feature among the top 10 countries served.
The Rockies are a major tourism destination at this time of year and Denver is by far Colorado’s biggest airport. But there are a few others including Eagle/Vail, which caters almost exclusively to ski traffic. United may still be the biggest airline at Denver but Frontier and Southwest are making inroads as the airport looks to maintain its Top 10 world ranking.
One of Europe’s great ski destinations is also home to one of Europe’s greatest cultural cities. Vienna dominates the Austrian aviation landscape though five smaller regional airport generate nearly five million passengers per year. LCCs are growing their market share and SkyEurope is making a determined effort to take on Austrian.
Florida’s airports handled 135 million passengers in 2006. Not as many as California but about the same as all of France. Miami and Orlando are among the world’s top 30 airports. Which airline transports most passengers through the region? What role do hurricanes and ‘spring break’ play, and which two new airports has Skybus ‘discovered’?