Record number of air passengers carried at almost 1 billion in 2016

Record number of air passengers carried at almost 1 billion in 2016

Record number of air passengers carried at almost 1 billion in 2016

The FINANCIAL -- In 2016, 972.7 million passengers travelled by air in the European Union (EU), up by 5.9% compared with 2015 and by 29.1% compared with 2009. Over this period, air passenger transport has steadily risen in the EU.

In 2016, intra-EU transport represented almost half (47.0%) of total air passenger transport in the EU and extra-EU transport over a third (35.6%), while national transport accounted for fewer than 1 in every 5 passengers (17.3%).

On the EU territory in 2016, six people were killed in commercial air transport accidents with EU aircraft.

Largest increase in air passenger transport in Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus

In 2016, the highest number of air passengers was recorded in the United Kingdom, where total air passenger transport amounted to 249 million. It was followed by Germany (201 million passengers), Spain (194 mn), France (145 mn) and Italy (135 mn). The number of air passengers carried in 2016 rose in all EU Member States compared with 2015, except in Belgium (-2.7%) and Slovenia (-2.2%). The largest increases were registered in Bulgaria (+22.5%), Romania (+20.5%) and Cyprus (+18.1%), ahead of Hungary (+14.1%), Croatia (+13.8%), Portugal (+13.7%), Lithuania (+13.3%) and Luxembourg (+12.5%). Among the top 5 Member States in terms of air passengers transported in 2016, the largest growths were registered in Spain (+11.0%) and the United Kingdom (+7.1%). Overall in the EU, the number of air passengers rose by 54.4 million (+5.9%) between 2015 and 2016, notably driven by the rise in intra-EU transport (+10.2%).

London/Heathrow, Paris/Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam/Schiphol: top 3 passenger airports

London/Heathrow remained the EU’s busiest passenger airport in 2016, with 75.7 million passengers handled, slightly up (+1.0%) compared with 2015. Paris/Charles de Gaulle (65.8 mn, +0.3%), Amsterdam/Schiphol (63.6 mn, +9.3%), Frankfurt/Main (60.7 mn, -0.4%) and Madrid/Barajas (49.2 mn, +6.2%) completed the top 5 of the busiest airports in the EU. They were followed by Barcelona/El Prat (43.8 mn, +11.0%), London/Gatwick (43.1 mn, +7.2%), München (42.2 mn, +3.2%) and Roma/Fiumicino (41.6 mn, +3.3%). Each of the top 30 EU airports registered an increase in the number of passengers handled in 2016, except Brussels/National (-6.4%) and Frankfurt/Main (-0.4%). The highest rises among the top 30 EU airports were registered in London/Luton (+19.4%), Malaga/Costa del Sol (+15.7%) and Warszawa/Chopina (+14.5%), ahead of Lisboa (+11.7%), Dublin (+11.2%), Barcelona/Prat (+11.0%), Manchester (+10.9%), Athinai/Eleftherios Venizelos and Palma de Mallorca (both +10.6%).

As in 2015, London/Heathrow (44.8 million) handled in 2016 the most passengers on extra-EU transport and Amsterdam/Schiphol (37.9 mn) the most on intra-EU transport, while Paris/Orly and Madrid/Bajaras (both 14.1 mn) led for national transport.