July 28 2022  |  Industry News

ACI Europe reports exponential passenger growth

By GTR Magazine Staff

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe

Brussels-based ACI Europe has released its air traffic report covering the month of June, as well as Q2 and the first half of 2022.

It reports “exponential passenger growth,” with passenger traffic in the European airport network jumping 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+ market1 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, ACI Europe reports there was more moderate though nonetheless still significant growth in passenger traffic at airports across the rest of Europe2 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,” the release says.

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%).

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe said, “These numbers speak for themselves. If COVID-19 caused an unprecedented collapse in passenger traffic for Europe’s airports, the rebound we have experienced this Spring - especially in the EU+ market - is equally extraordinary. The fact that volumes across the continent still remained -28.3% below pre-pandemic levels for the first half of the year should not eclipse the sheer and unprecedented unleashing of pent-up demand that has occurred since March.”

June 2022 closest to full passenger traffic recovery
June 2022 saw passenger traffic across the European airport network making further gains – with the month closing at -17.4% against pre- pandemic (June 2019) levels. This is the strongest monthly performance since the last pre-pandemic reporting in February 2020.

In a reversal of the situation that prevailed throughout the pandemic the EU+ market (-16.6%) outperformed the rest of Europe (-21.7%) in June when compared to pre-pandemic (2019) levels.

The full report is available at ACI Europe website.


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