2012: overall, traffic falls but growth for low-cost and charters
Brussels, Belgium – In 2012 there was a total of 26,100 average daily flights in Europe. This is a decline of 2.67% compared to 2011. The decrease was spread unevenly across countries and market segments, with low cost and charter and eastern European countries seeing growth in numbers of flights while western Europe and the traditional market segments decreased.
In 2012, low-cost and chartered airlines saw increases of 1.4% and 2.6% respectively compared to 2011. In contrast, traditional scheduled air traffic – which accounts for half of total flights – business aviation and all-cargo suffered a decline of some 4-5% year-on-year.
|Breakdown of traffic per market segment|
|Market Segment||Average Daily Flights||Market Share||Growth on 2012|
|* Other includes also military flights|
Some countries, in particular in eastern Europe, saw an increase in traffic during the year. Turkey, Norway, Poland, Ukraine and Estonia together had an extra 240 flights per day (excluding overflights). This increase was offset by reductions in the busiest countries. Spain was the main contributor to the decline with 290 fewer flights per day. Italy and Germany saw roughly half that decrease with around 140 fewer flights daily.
The results of this pattern can be seen in the figures for the busiest airports per average daily departures. Among the busiest hubs, all but two had decreases. Madrid Barajas shrank by 13.3%. Other major airports, like Paris CDG, Frankfurt Main, Heathrow, Munich and Rome Fiumicino, were in negative figures, ranging from -1.3% to almost -5%. The only two airports delivering growth out of the 10 busiest are Istanbul-Ataturk – which is becoming an increasingly important hub in the east with steady and strong 12.2% growth – and Amsterdam Schiphol, which remains stable with gains of 0.3%.
|10 busiest departure airports per average daily departures|
|Rank||Departure Airport||Average Daily Departures||Growth on 2012|
|1||PARIS CH DE GAULLE||680||-3.4%|
Turkey and Norway have between them 6 out of the 10 busiest city pairs. The biggest percentage increase in flights between city pairs was between Istanbul Ataturk and Izimr Adnam Menderes. In contrast, the Barcelona-Madrid Barajas route has fallen by almost a fifth.
|10 busiest airport pairs per number of daily flights|
|Rank||Departure Airport||Arrival Airport||Average Daily Movements*||Growth on 2012|
|3||TOULOUSE BLAGNAC||PARIS ORLY||51||0.6%|
|5||MILANO LINATE||ROME FIUMICINO||48||1.9%|
|* both directions|
Regarding delays communicated by the airlines within the European Network in 2012; 36% of flights were delayed by more than five minutes on departure.
The average delay per delayed flight was 27 minutes. This translates to 9.5 minutes per flight:
|Average delay per flight all-causes (minutes)|
|Reactionary||Airline||Air Traffic Flow Management||Other|
The UK, particularly the London airports, and the Iberian peninsula had the airports with highest delays per flight in 2012.
|10 airports with highest departure delay per flight|
|Rank||Departure airport||Average delay per departure (minutes)||% of delayed departures|
|8||PARIS CH DE GAULLE||11.4||47.6%|
|10||PALMA DE MALLORCA||10.8||39.3%|
With fuel prices remaining high and the economic recovery delayed yet again, EUROCONTROL’s current forecast is for a slight decline in traffic in 2013. We expect this to be revised further downwards in the new forecast due out at the end of February.
For more forecasts, please refer to the latest information available at the date of publication: EUROCONTROL Two-Year Forecast (December 2012) - (PDF).