Passenger growth at European airports has slowed

European airports saw the slowest passenger growth in five years in 2019, but according to the European branch of the Airports Council International, 2.43 billion passengers still flew through the region’s gateways.

Growth slowed last year due to the decline in the non-EU market, declining domestic traffic, airline bankruptcies and capacity constraints in the EU market.

Thomas Cook, Wow Air and Germania were among the airlines that went bankrupt in 2019.

Photo taken in Prague, Czech Republic

According to ACI Europe, passenger growth in 2019 rose by 3.2 percentage points in 46 countries that are considered part of the European airport network. It includes countries like Turkey.

The growth rate last year was just a little over half of the 6 percent pace of 2018, according to ACI.

In Ireland’s largest gateway, Dublin Airport, 32.9 million passengers used the facility last year. That was a new record for the airport and 4 percent higher than in 2018.

“In the past five years, European airports have increased their passenger traffic by more than 32 percent, which means that they have actually added 595 million additional passengers since 2014,” said Olivier Jankovec, General Manager of ACI Europe.

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“But 2019 was a crucial year. Volumes were still increasing, but the slowdown was remarkable due to both supply and demand pressures,” he added.

The airports in Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Malta, Luxembourg and Portugal grew more than twice as fast as the EU average.

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