European airports see weak growth in 2015

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Frankfurt Airport

Freight traffic in Europe grew by just 0.7 per cent in 2015 compared to much stronger passenger growth of 5.2 per cent, according to Airports Council International (ACI) Europe.

Among Europe’s top five freight hubs, only Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport was up on 2015, rising by 3.1 per cent to 748,914 tonnes. Frankfurt Airport remained Europe’s top freight hub, but volumes fell by 2.8 per cent to just under two million tonnes. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport dropped by 1.4 per cent to 1.8 million tonnes and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol dipped by 0.7 per cent to 1.6 million tonnes. Among the top airports to decline, Heathrow Airport saw the smallest fall, down 0.2 per cent to just under 1.5 million tonnes.

ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec says the outlook for 2016 is mixed. “The positive momentum created by improving economic conditions in the Eurozone, low oil prices and loose monetary policy is likely to persist for most of 2016.”

“However, downside risks abound, and they mainly of a geopolitical nature – both homegrown and external. These range from the unprecedented migrant crisis and its repercussions on Schengen to the UK Brexit, heightened terrorist threats, instability in the Middle East and North Africa and deteriorating prospects in emerging markets.”

In December, the results were not as bad. Paris was the busiest freight hub in December, handling 165,434 tonnes, up 0.7 per cent. Frankfurt was second busiest in December, dipping 1.3 per cent to 162,693 tonnes. Amsterdam was up by 1.1 per cent to 135,328 tonnes and Heathrow saw a small increase of 0.8 per cent to 127,152 tonnes. Cologne Bonn Airport was fifth busiest in December, with freight increasing by 10.5 per cent to 69,950 tonnes.