Freight across European airports grew 4.1 per cent in 2016 with a major surge in December, particularly at non-European Union (EU) hubs, Airports Council International (ACI) Europe says.
EU airports grew 4.4 per cent in 2016 and non-EU hubs by 3.2 per cent, while freight across the continent was up 10.2 per cent in December, with the EU up 9.7 per cent and non-EU by 13.4 per cent.
ACI Europe director general, Oliver Jankovec warns fuel prices are likely to rise 30 per cent compared to the 2016 average and the outlook is unpredictable.
He says: “Our trading environment is becoming more unpredictable and prone to disruptions, due to mounting geopolitical risks. These include the permanence of terrorism threats, increasing political instability both within and outside Europe and BREXIT.”
“These risks reflect a set of emerging mega-trends which are now challenging globalisation and free trade – and which could fundamentally alter airports’ long-term business prospect.”
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) was the busiest in December, up 8.2 per cent to 179,000 tonnes, followed by Frankfurt Airport at 177,039 tonnes.
They were followed by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with a 10.4 per cent surge to 149,419 tonnes, London Heathrow Airport up 5.1 per cent to 133,641 tonnes and Istanbul Ataturk Airport rounding out the top five with an 18 per cent increase to 82,003 tonnes.
For 2016 as a whole, Frankfurt remained on top with a 1.8 per cent increase to two million tonnes, followed by CDG rising 4.6 per cent to 1.98 million tonnes.
Schiphol was third, up 2.5 per cent to 1.66 million tonnes, followed by Heathrow increasing three per cent to 1.54 million tonnes with Luxembourg Airport joined the top five by rising 8.7 per cent to 801,807 tonnes.