Above: Bucharest airport saw a four-figure percentage rise in passenger footfall
Average passenger traffic in Europe in February grew by 5.2% compared with the same month last year, according to a report by ACI Europe.
While EU airports continued to lead the growth dynamic with a 5.5% hike, the gap with non-EU airports grew by 4.2% and is narrowing on the back of improved performance by Russian airports and strong increases in popularity in Iceland, Ukraine and Georgia.
Passenger traffic is still declining in Turkey, although currently at a slower pace than in previous months.
In the EU, most of the less mature markets in the east saw double-digit growth increases in passenger traffic, most notably in Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal.
These growth rates are lower than those reported in January, although February’s extra day in 2016 should be noted. In adjusted comparison, passenger traffic across Europe actually rose by 9%, with the EU market growing by 9.3% and the non-EU bloc by 7.9%.
Freight traffic grew by 3.4% (or 6.7% when adjusted) while aircraft movements were near flat, down 0.4% or up 3.4% adjusted).
Airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year – Group 1 – saw a rise of 3.2% in passenger footfall, with Moscow SVO seeing the biggest rise at 15.4%. Group 2 airports, which welcome between 10 and 25 million passengers per annum, saw a 6.6% rise with St Petersburg seeing a 27.8% hike.
Elsewhere, Group 3 airports receiving between 5 and 10 million passengers every year saw an 8.1% rise in footfall, with Keflavik up 50.1%, and Bucharest, a group 4 airport seeing less than 5 million travelers per annum, saw a huge 1,041.9% rise in passengers.