ACI Europe: Growth in May but uncertainty ahead

Frankfurt Airport

Freight traffic at European airports grew by 2.8 per cent in May, with European Union (EU) hubs making for falls outside the EU, Airports Council International (ACI) Europe says.

EU airports grew by 3.8 per cent in May while non-EU hubs were down 4.4 per cent. In the first five months of 2015, freight grew by 2.8 per cent.

ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec says that the biggest medium to long-term risk comes from Britain voting to leave the EU, though it is unlikely to impact traffic this summer.

“The political instability and uncertainty it has created in the UK and beyond, is already hurting business confidence and might end up doing the same for consumer confidence – this could affect demand for air transport later in the year.”

Among Europe’s top freight airports, Frankfurt Airport was still number one in May despite volumes dipping by 1.7 per cent to 167,513 tonnes, though Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport was close behind, having grown 11.5 per cent to 166,200 tonnes. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was in third with a fall of 2.3 per cent to 134,566 tonnes and Heathrow Airport was fourth with a 3.7 per cent increase to 129,671 tonnes. The largest non-EU airport, Istanbul Ataturk Airport was down 9.2 per cent in May to 65,573 tonnes.

For the first five months, Frankfurt was down 0.3 per cent to 814,358 tonnes, with Paris catching up quickly, having grown 7.3 per cent to 807,241 tonnes. Amsterdam was third with a 1.4 per cent increase to 661,273 tonnes and Heathrow fourth, up 1.6 per cent to 629,061 tonnes. Istanbul was down by 5.1 per cent to 299,144 tonnes.