European airport traffic demand slows with Turkey, Russia seeing huge slump: Association
REUTERS photoTraffic demand at European Union airports is expected to slow over the course of the second half of the year due to security fears and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, airport association ACI Europe said on Aug. 9, while also noting that a severe slump in passenger demand in the non-EU bloc affecting mainly Turkey and Russia.
Passenger traffic at EU airports rose 4.8 percent in the second quarter of 2016, slowing sharply from the 8.2 percent seen in the first quarter, as reported by Reuters.
“EU airports are also likely to see a continued softening of passenger traffic on the back of lower consumer confidence fuelled by terrorism and the decision of the U.K. to leave the EU, as well as major full service airlines reining in capacity,” ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec said in a statement.
Major European carriers such as Lufthansa and British Airways owner IAG have said they will trim growth plans this year.
The bright spots in the first half were secondary airports where low-cost traffic was growing, such as Berlin Schoenefeld, Cologne-Bonn and Barcelona, said ACI Europe, whose members include Fraport, Groupe ADP and Aena.
The situation was markedly worse for Turkey’s and Russia’s airports, according to the association.
“Beyond an overall healthy traffic performance at the pan-European level for the first six months of the year, these figures reveal a severe slump in passenger demand in the non-EU bloc affecting mainly Turkey and Russia – as well as a significant growth deceleration in the EU market. In both cases, these worrying trends are due to the impact of terrorism and accrued geopolitical instability. Since these traffic figures do not yet reflect the full impact of the Istanbul Atatürk Airport terror attack and the failed coup in Turkey, we expect a further worsening of airport traffic performance over the summer and for the remainder of the year,” noted Jankovec.
Turkish travel stocks rose on Aug. 9, ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg aimed at easing tensions between the two countries, Reuters reported.