ACI: Europe sees growth in Q1 but March is flat

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Airports in Europe have seen freight volumes increase by 2.1 per cent in the first quarter despite March remaining flat, Airports Council International (ACI) Europe says.

During the first three months of 2015, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport was the busiest hub with volumes increasing by 4.9 per cent to 479,041 tonnes, ahead of Frankfurt Airport, which saw a fall of 1.5 per cent to 475,550 tonnes. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol remained third largest, with a 0.8 per cent increase to 389,042 tonnes, while Heathrow Airport was up 0.4 per cent to 372,299 tonnes. Cologne-Bonn Airport rounded out the top five, with a 1.7 per cent increase to 180,452 tonnes.

ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec says airports have been performing well despite security and geopolitical concerns. He says: “As long as these risks remain in check and with oil set to remain affordable, we remain positive about the traffic outlook for the rest of the year.”

“The fact that airports are now keenly focused on improving their competitive positions and are fighting to attract new traffic also plays an important – and often overlooked – role in maintaining the growth momentum.”

March remained at the same level as in 2015, with a mixed picture at the top. Frankfurt handled the most freight, at 175,591 tonnes, down two per cent, followed by Paris Charles de Gaulle at 169,022 tonnes, up 3.6 per cent. Amsterdam saw a 0.5 per cent increase to 140,234 tonnes followed by Heathrow declining by 3.8 per cent to 131,661 tonnes.

Brussels Airport, which was hit by terrorist attacks in March, saw freight fall by 22.4 per cent in March to 32,286 tonnes, while year-to-date volumes are down 9.6 per cent to 102,183 tonnes.