Air passenger traffic up in Europe in April

Air passenger traffic up in Europe in April

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Air passenger traffic up in Europe in April

Air passenger traffic in Europe rose 5 percent year-on-year in April, an airport authority said on June 11. 

“As has occurred in previous months, the non-EU market led the growth dynamic, holding fast at 10.4 percent, on the back of Turkish airports increasing their passenger traffic by an impressive 13.9 percent,” Airports Council International (ACI) Europe said in a statement.

Air passenger traffic in the EU was also on the rise with 3.4 percent in April 2018, compared with earlier months.

“This was mainly due to the combination of labor disruptions, the continued impact of the bankruptcies of Monarch and Air Berlin, stronger tourism demand to Turkey and Northern Africa impacting some EU leisure airports - as well as the Easter holiday period starting earlier (in March) when compared to last year,” according to the report.

ACI Europe said that passenger traffic in the top five European airports saw passenger growth weakening to 2.4 percent compared to 9.6 percent in Q1.

“The Air France strikes had an impact on Paris-CDG (-3.5 percent) so far, the airport has lost more than 700,000 passengers due to industrial action at the airline. There were also lower passenger numbers at London-Heathrow (-2.2 percent). Istanbul-Ataturk (10.7 percent) kept posting the best performance amongst the league, followed by Frankfurt (5.8 percent) and Amsterdam-Schiphol (3.0 percent),” it added.

ACI Europe also revealed that freight traffic kept its upward trend, rising 3.9 percent year-on-year in April.

The ACI Europe airport traffic report includes 243 airports in total, representing more than 88 percent of European air passenger traffic.

Turkish Airlines to launch global logistic venture

Meanwhile, Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Chinese cargo giant ZTO Express, and Hong Kong-based PAL Air on June 11 agreed to establish a global logistics company in Hong Kong.

“The services of the new global express joint venture company will include all door to door logistics activities; trucking, collection and distribution, freight transportation, cross docking and final mile delivery,” according to a statement from Turkish Airlines. 

Speaking at the signing ceremony, İlker Aycı, the airline’s chairman, said the new Global Express/Courier company will generate $2 billion of revenue in 5 years.

“The joint venture, after reaching quickly to fully functional and operational levels, is expected to take place within the world’s largest integrators,” Aycı said.

He also noted that Turkish Cargo, a division of the national flag-carrier, will have up to 4 million tons of cargo handling capacity once third airport in Istanbul on Oct. 29.

“The flow of e-commerce products globally with this joint venture and via Istanbul mega hub; will provide maximum value to our customers worldwide,” Aycı said.

Mei Song Lai, the chairman of ZTO Express, said China’s logistics industry is provided with “tremendous” new growth opportunities due to the innovation and globalization of new retail and e-commerce sector.

“The cooperation will form synergy by combining strong core competencies and integrating key resources, and will undoubtedly effect positive progress in the areas of global express delivery, warehousing, cargo freight, and aviation route development and more, and will ultimately benefit traders and consumers globally,” Mei said.

The global giant Alibaba Group announced that it will acquire 10 percent of the ZTO Express’s stakes for $1.38 billion, the deal expected to close within this month, according to the statement.

“ZTO is the world’s largest parcel distributer with daily 28 million parcels and additionally having the widest express delivery coverage in whole China,” the statement read.

Pal Air’s Vice Chairman Vivian Lau said the company was honored to have played a role in creating a three parties venture.

PAL Air has a wide network including express postal services in Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Vietnam, India and the U.S.