European airport network sees cargo volumes fall in May

Aerial view of the apron at Frankfurt Airport

Airfreight volumes across European airports fell year on year (YOY) by 0.4 per cent in May due to the economic problems in the European Union (EU), according to the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe.

The figures for the month were published by the airport trade body as part of its May traffic report for the continent, in which it says many of the busiest cargo hubs by volumes saw YOY declines in the month.

ACI Europe says: “Freight traffic across the European airport network was down 0.4 per cent, reflecting the relative weakness of economic growth in the EU, the continued impact of sanctions on Russia as well as more structural factors.”

The EU economy has also been affected by the ongoing economic problems in Greece, and the weakness of the euro, which are also likely to have had an impact on volumes.

May’s performance continues the unstable year for cargo volumes across Europe, as in April there was YOY growth of 0.8 per cent, but in March, volumes fell YOY by 1.8 per cent. In February there was YOY growth of 2.9 per cent, but in January there was 0.5 per cent fall.

ACI Europe says year to date cargo volumes in the continent have remained flat compared to 2014, with no growth or decline, but the figure is up 5.7 per cent on 2013.

In May, Europe’s busiest cargo hub by volumes Frankfurt Airport, saw a 3.4 per cent fall to 170,348 tonnes. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport saw a 7.6 per cent drop to 149,000 tonnes. Cargo volumes at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol were down 1.5 per cent in the month to 137,665 and Heathrow Airport’s volumes fell 0.7 per cent to 125,067.

There were some notable declines across some airports in Europe during May. Gatwick Airport saw a fall of 24.3 per cent to 5,652 tonnes. Helsinki Airport’s volumes fell by 28.1 per cent to 10,935. Zurich Airport fell by 4.6 per cent to 24,479. Cologne-Bonn Airport saw a 3.3 per cent drop to 60,028.

Some airports did see strong growth in May. Volumes at Munich Airport were up 9.3 per cent to 26,907 tonnes. Istanbul Ataturk Airport saw a rise of 8.1 per cent to 68,271. Brussels Airport saw an increase of 5.2 per cent to 38,665. Milan Malpensa Airport was up 8.4 per cent to 46,341 tonnes.