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European airports handle an additional 660 million passengers in the 1H2022

Freight and movements -ATTACHMENT

European airport trade body ACI EUROPE yesterday released its air traffic report covering the month of June, as well as Q2 and the first half (H1) of 2022.

Exponential passenger growth led by EU+ market in 1H

Passenger traffic in the European airport network jumped by +247% in H1 2022 compared to the same period last year – resulting in airports across the continent handling an additional 660 million passengers.

The increase was predominantly driven by international traffic (+381.2%) rather than domestic traffic (+88.5%). It was also very much concentrated in the second quarter (+245.9%) – following the easing as of March of the Omicron-related restrictions for travel within Europe as well as for an increasing number of external markets.

Airports in the EU+ market saw by far the biggest jump in passenger traffic in H1 at +348.9% - resulting in their passenger volume increasing to 635 million from 140 million compared to last year. Within the bloc, airports in Ireland (+1125%), the UK (+833%), Slovakia (+842.2%), Hungary (+784.8%) and Denmark (+611.8%) all experienced extraordinary increases.

Meanwhile, there was more moderate though nonetheless still significant growth in passenger traffic at airports across the rest of Europe in H1 at +58.3%.

This reflects the fact that those markets had generally been subjected to less stringent restrictions both locally and for travel throughout the pandemic and had started recovering earlier compared to the EU+ market. This was notably the case for airports in Turkey (+96.3%) but also in smaller markets such as Armenia (+75.6%) and Kazakhstan (+11.5%) - with airports in Israel (+328.9%) being the exception and following a dynamic similar to the EU+ airports. The performance of the non-EU+ market also reflects the impact of the war on Ukrainian airports - with international sanctions weighing on airports in Russia (-3.6%) and Belarus (-16.7%).

 Freight and movements 

Freight traffic across the European airport network made limited gains in H1 at -0.8% compared to the same period last year – with EU+ airports at -0.2% and those in the rest of Europe at -5.7%.

This reflects the wider impact of the war in Ukraine on supply chains, which sent freight traffic on a downward trend as of last February – with the month of June closing at -4.5% (-3.8% at EU+ airports and -9.2% for airports in the rest of Europe). This has not erased all gains made in the recovery: freight traffic in H1 remained +5% above pre-pandemic (2019) levels.

 Aircraft movements increased by +127.9% in H1 and by +84.1% in June compared to the same periods last year.

The integral version of the report (three pages) is attached to this AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency