Positive trends for the airport traffic while the cargo sector is suffering a decrease.
After the steady growth recorded in 2018, airport traffic continues to grow and does not disappoint expectations. Both in Europe and globally, the number of passengers increased exponentially, affecting airport performance and showing a general economic recovery of the population.
ACI analysis: some statistics
ACI (Airports Council International) is the association that represents airports and establishes the global standards for civil air transport. The ACI compiled a report to analyse air transportation trends during 2019.
According to the ACI, the first quarter of 2019 registered positive results for European airports which recorded a +4.4% growth. Among the bigger European airports that stood out for their performance, the best results were reached by Berlin-TXL (+ 32.4%), Vienna (+ 24.6%), Tallinn (+ 13.3%), Dusseldorf (+ 12.5%) and Milan-Malpensa (+ 10.6%) (Bates, 2019).
At the same time, airports in the rest of the world also registered a +2.9% increase in the number of passengers. Of the major airports, it is important to note Moscow-Sheremetyevo (+ 17.6%), Moscow-Vnukovo (+ 13.2%), Saint Petersburg (+ 14.7%), Minsk (+ 15.7%), Tbilisi (+ 11.2%), Kiev (+15.2 %), Antalya (+ 13.2%) and Sochi (+ 12.9%) which recorded double-digit growth (Bates, 2019).
Which factors are pushing airports growth?
The impressive results are due, in no small part, to the continued investment in infrastructure. In particular, growth was a result of focus on security, quality and sustainability.
Infrastructure improvement is seen as a crucial aspect of a long-term strategy. The recent statistics regarding the impressive growth of passenger traffic makes it necessary to adapt the airports’ capacity to the increased flow of people.
The support of the new technologies that are taking over and are changing the way airports operate is a fundamental aspect. Thanks to it, a further traffic increase is desirable as well as an overall improvement in the quality of services offered by airports throughout the world. The Artificial Intelligence, the introduction of custom-made services for passengers, the improvement of security measures or the introduction of eco-friendly solutions are just some of the great innovations that are involving the airport sector.
The Cargo sector is suffering a slowdown
The situation is different regarding the air freight in Europe, which continued the negative trend observed at the end of 2018. According to the ACI analysis, the decline in the goods movement was equal to -2.6% (Bates, 2019).
This data testifies a progressive slowdown in the international trade sector. Consequently, it is necessary to reinvigorate the sector to improve its performance. A recovery of the air freight numbers will hopefully arrive in the coming months.
In conclusion, based on the ACI analysis, it is possible to conclude that despite the limitations linked to the still looming economic crisis and the volatility of oil prices. The analysis of airport performance during Q1 of 2019 illustrated positive trends. This growth has been supported by impressive technological improvements. It will be interesting to see if the trends observed for the beginning of 2019 continue.
Let’s stay updated and see how the sector will continue to evolve.
Bates, J. (2019, May 14). “Passenger traffic rises across Europe's airports in Q1 but cargo declines”. Airport World. Retrieved from: http://www.airport-world.com/news/general-news/7153-passenger-traffic-rises-across-europe-s-airports-in-q1-but-cargo-declines.html
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