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Eurostat: the number of air passengers is booming in the EU

Monday, December 17, 2018

In fact, according to its latest report, 2017 saw the highest number of air passengers within the European Union. We have just surpassed the mark of one billion air passengers (1.043 million passengers). This represents an increase of 7% compared to 2016, which is equivalent to 71 million additional passengers.

Which European countries dominate European traffic?

The rapid growth of air traffic is divided as follows:

  • half of the passengers travel within the 28 members (47%);
  • Just over a third of passengers cross EU borders (36%);
  • 1/5 of passengers travel within their own country (17%).

In 2017, all member countries experienced an increase in air traffic. The highest growth was recorded in Slovenia (+20%) and the lowest in Denmark, with only +1.5%.

It is also worth noting that there has been a sharp increase in passenger numbers in Eastern European countries (Slovenia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia and Poland), saw growth ranging from +17% to +20%.

Which European countries have the most air traffic?

UK is the European country with the most air travellers

According to Eurostat statistics, in 2017 the top 5 finished as follows:

  • United Kingdom (265 million)
  • Germany (212 million)
  • Spain (210 million)
  • France (154 million)
  • Italy (144 million)

One also finds a higher increase in passengers travelling outside the EU (+ 9%) than for those travelling within the EU (+ 7%).

What are the busiest airports in the EU?

Once again, the ranking of Europe's most active airports continues to be dominated by major European hubs. The list is as follows:

  • Heathrow, with 78 million passengers (+3% compared to 2016)
  • Paris - Charles de Gaulle (69 million, +5%)
  • Amsterdam - Schiphol (68 million, +8%)
  • Frankfurt (64 million, +6%)
  • Madrid - Barajas (52 million, +6%).

Frankfurt is one of the busiest airports in Europe

The 30 busiest European airports are experiencing an increase in passenger numbers, with the exception of the airports of Fiumicino (Rome) and Tegel (Berlin) which suffer a loss of 1.8% and 3.7% of their assistance respectively.

The most significant growth in passenger numbers is recorded at Sofia airport, Bulgaria, with a 30.5% increase in passenger traffic. It should also be noted that the number of passengers at the airports of Warsaw, Ljubljana, Luxembourg, Tallinn and Lisbon is growing rapidly, with increases ranging from +23% to +19%.

In France and Belgium, the Paris - Charles de Gaulles, Paris - Orly and Brussels - Zaventem airports are ranked 2nd, 10th and 18th respectively in the 30 busiest airports in the EU.

If you have had a problem with your flight at any of these airports, or flying to and from the European Union, you can check whether you are entitled to claim compensation here:

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