ACI: Europe’s top ten airports see steady rise

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Aerial picture of Heathrow Airport

Most of Europe’s top 10 busiest airports by airfreight volumes saw increases in April, but two gateways saw significant falls, according to the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe.

The figures for the month were published by the airport trade body as part of its April traffic report for the continent. Frankfurt Airport, which is the biggest by volume, saw a slight year-on-year (YOY) rise of 0.4 per cent to 163,618 tonnes.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport was likely have been affected by the air traffic strikes that took place across France in April. The airport saw the most significant decline of any of the continent’s leading cargo hubs, a YOY fall of 7.9 per cent to 146,414 tonnes.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol saw a fall of 4.3 per cent to 128,842 tonnes. Last year, Air France-KLM Martinair announced plans to reduce its freighter services from Schiphol, which is likely be having an impact.

Heathrow Airport continues to grow its volumes the most consistently of Europe’s busiest cargo hubs. The airport saw a YOY rise of 2.2 per cent to 122,879 tonnes. Figures are likely to have been boosted by Vietnam Airlines moving routes from Gatwick Airport in March.

Two of the most consistent performers of the leading cargo airports in Europe were Cologne-Bonn Airport, which handled 61,830 tonnes, a 0.3 per cent YOY fall and Luxembourg Airport, which processed 60,585, a YOY rise of 0.4 per cent. Istanbul Ataturk Airport saw a YOY increase of volumes by 4.8 per cent to 64,988 tonnes. Belgium is on the upward trend and the biggest winner of the continent’s busiest airports in April was Liege Airport, which saw a 20.4 per cent YOY increase to 54,485 tonnes as its focus on freighter carriers continues to pay dividends. Brussels Airport continues to see monthly surges and it saw a 6.4 per cent rise to 39,132 tonnes in the month.

ACI Europe says the European airport network as a whole saw growth of 0.8 per cent in April compared to the same month last year. April’s YOY figures were up on March when volumes fell YOY by 1.8 per cent, but down on the YOY growth of 2.9 per cent in February, and up on January when volumes saw a 0.5 per cent YOY fall. ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec, explains the outlook remains positive.