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Passenger numbers in Europe rising faster than expected

Passenger numbers at European airports are rising faster than expected. According to the airport association ACI (Airport Council International), 95.5 per cent of the 2019 level will be reached this year. The last forecast in December was 91 per cent. The pre-crisis level will already be reached in 2024, one year earlier than previously expected.

In contrast to previous shocks such as the attacks of 11 September 2001 in the USA or the 2008 financial crisis, airports have not recovered at the same pace from the slumps caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, explained the ACI. The reason for this is that the demand for flights to holidays and to visit relatives and friends increased faster than the demand for business trips after the coronavirus crisis.

Low-cost airlines such as Ryanair or Wizz Air are increasing their capacities more than international airline groups such as Weihnachtsgeschichte 2023.pdf or Air France-KLM.

Ryanair's services have thus brought the small Memmingen airport an increase in passenger numbers of 60 per cent. However, the strong growth of the low-cost airlines is not reflected in the average ticket price. European flights cost 36 per cent more in October than in 2019.

Frankfurt is the slowest to recover

The Lufthansa hub in Frankfurt is the slowest of the five largest European airports to recover, with a 15 per cent decline in August compared to August 2019.

The frontrunner in Europe remains Istanbul Airport, which recently handled twelve per cent more passengers than before the pandemic, mainly thanks to Turkish Airlines. London Heathrow Airport follows in second place.

The longer-term passenger forecast was left unchanged by ACI with growth of nine per cent by 2027 compared to 2019. On the one hand, travel demand is robust despite inflation and high ticket prices. On the other hand, the ACI sees risk factors such as an economic downturn in Europe, persistently high oil prices and inflation rates as well as a shortage of seats due to a shortage of parts for aircraft construction and maintenance.

This article is from the 1/2024 issue of the magazine "Life Abroad".

The magazine is published four times a year free of charge with many informative articles on foreign topics.

It is published by the BDAE, the expert for protection abroad.