Welcome to Moodie Davitt Pax Index, a regularly-updated feed featuring the latest passenger traffic results from airports around the world as the figures are announced.
25 JANUARY

MOROCCO. ONDA (Office National des Aéroports), the operator of all passenger airports across Morocco, reports more than 25 million passengers passed through its airports in 2019, an increase of +11.2% compared to 2018. Casablanca Mohammed V International led the way with 10,306,293 passengers in 2019 (+5.9% year-on-year) and Marrakesh Menara reported impressive annual growth of +21.1% on its way to 6,396,394 passengers for the year.

Passenger numbers for both December 2019 and the full year across the ONDA portfolio

24 JANUARY

CANADA. A record 18 million passengers used Calgary International Airport in 2019, a +3.5% year-on-year increase. “Our focus remains on ensuring every guest has a positive experience at YYC and in supporting our airline partners,” Calgary Airport Authority Vice President Finance, Strategy & Chief Financial Officer Rob Palmer said.

US. A +4.7% year-on-year increase in domestic traffic helped counteract at -4.47% decline in international traffic at Orlando International Airport in November. In total, 4.19 million passengers travelled through the Florida airport during the month, a +3.4% year-on-year increase.

23 JANUARY

GERMANY. A “difficult” 2019 for Cologne Bonn Airport saw traffic drop -5% year-on-year, as 12.4 million passengers passed through the airport. “A difficult year has come to an end,” said Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH CEO Johan Vanneste. “Just like all other airports, [we] had to do battle with a very tense market environment last year. Airline consolidations and complete withdrawals from the market have shaken up the industry and are affecting passenger figures.”

UAE. Ahead of the Chinese New Year, Dubai International Airport (DXB) has announced 2019 was a record year for passengers from China at the world’s busiest airport for international traffic. Advance figures say that 3,681,896 passengers from China travelled through the airport during the year, a +5% year-on-year increase. Read more about DXB’s Lunar New Year celebrations here and how Dubai Duty Free is marking the occasion here.

22 JANUARY

FRANCE. It was a tenth consecutive year of growth at Bordeaux Airport in 2019 with 7.7 million passengers passing through the airport, a +13.3% year-on-year increase. The top destinations for the year were Paris, Lyon, London, Marseille and Amsterdam. Aéroport de Bordeaux-Mérignac Executive Board Chair Pascal Personne said: “Yet again, our low-cost airline development policy has paid off this year since these companies generated 90% of new routes.”

Ten years of growth and counting for Bordeaux Airport

AUSTRALIA. Passenger numbers at Brisbane Airport increased by +2.1% year-on-year in 2019 to 24.1 million. The growth was consistent across both international travel (+2.2%) and domestic travel (+1.3%). “Brisbane as we know it is evolving and going from strength to strength thanks to a number of major infrastructure projects currently underway,” remarked Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff.

ROMANIA. Henri Coandă Airport in Bucharest recorded 14,707,376 passengers in 2019, a +6.4% year-on-year increase for Romania’s busiest airport.

21 JANUARY

AUSTRIA. The Flughafen Wien Group has reported 31.7 million passengers passed through Vienna Airport in 2019, a +17.1% year-on-year increase. Passenger growth at the airport is forecast to slow to +3-5% in 2020 due to no further slots being available at peak periods. The overall Group, which also includes the company’s strategic foreign investments, handled 39.5 million passengers in 2019, representing +15% year-on-year growth.

CANADA. Passenger numbers at Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport were flat year-on-year in 2019 at 5,106,487. While domestic and transborder traffic to the US both dropped slightly, international passenger traffic to outside of Canada and the US increased +10%.

FRANCE. Traffic at Marseille Provence Airport for 2019 was up +8.1% year-on-year at 10,151,743. Growth for the year was driven by international markets, which were up +11.1%.

Annual passenger numbers at the Marseille airport passed 10 million in 2019

20 JANUARY

US. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport welcomed 10,040,817 passengers in 2019, a +4.1% increase over 2018. “What is important about our continued growth is that we continue to give our guests the best possible experience,” said Airport Director Robert Kennedy. “As our passenger numbers rise, so have our Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) guest satisfaction scores.”

INTERNATIONAL. The Vinci Airports portfolio of 46 airports served almost 255 million passengers in 2019, a +5.7% year-on-year increase on a comparable network base.

The 10 airports in Portugal operated by Vinci saw traffic jump +6.9% year-on-year, with Porto (+9.8%) and Lisbon (+7.4%) seeing a particularly strong year-on-year jump.

In the UK, Gatwick Airport reported 46.6 million passengers for the year, a +1.1% year-on-year increase.

In France, passenger traffic across the airports operated by Vinci was up +8% year-on-year. This was driven by growth in Lyon (+6.4%) and Nantes (+16.6%).

In Japan, the Rugby World Cup helped contribute to a +7.2% year-on-year rise for the three facilities operated by Vinci in 2019. Kansai International Airport reported 31.9 million passengers for the year, an increase of +10.2% year-on-year.

The full figures for Vinci Airports for 2019 and the final quarter of the year are below.


AUSTRALIA. Sydney Airport passenger traffic grew marginally (+0.1%) year-on-year in 2019 to 44.4 million, with international volume growth (+1.1%) outstripping domestic (-0.5%).

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said the overall result was “solid” in the face of trading conditions that were “at their toughest in more than a decade”.

He said: “When you look at the different nationalities coming through the airport, the growth we’ve had in a number of key markets like the US and India has helped offset the slowdown from places like the UK throughout 2019.”

Sydney Airport top ten nationalities by passenger volume in December and full year (click to enlarge)

HONG KONG. Passenger traffic at Hong Kong International Airport fell by -4.2% year-on-year in 2019 to 71.5 million. The decline comes against the background of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, which has seen tourism and retail revenues slump.

Passenger numbers fell by a sharp -12.5% in December to 5.7 million, with Mainland Chinese and Southeast Asian travel posting the biggest falls by region.

17 JANUARY

RUSSIA. In 2019, Pulkovo St Petersburg Airport served 19,581,262 passengers, +8.1% more than in 2018, with domestic traffic up +9.8% and international passengers ahead +5.3% year-on-year. The top domestic destinations were Moscow, Simferopol and Sochi, while the top international destinations were Antalya, Minsk and Frankfurt.

UK. A total of 14,747,830 people travelled through Edinburgh Airport last year, making 2019 the busiest in the airport’s history and the busiest-ever year for a Scottish airport. The growth was driven by international traffic, which was up +5.3% year-on-year, with domestic traffic down -0.7%. Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar commented: “We’re delighted to deliver a record year for any Scottish airport as passengers continued to take advantage of new routes, new airlines and the opportunity to expand their horizons and travel the world.”

CZECH REPUBLIC. Václav Havel Airport Prague handled 17,804,900 passengers in 2019, up +6% year-on-year and a new record. The airport reported a +10.9% increase in the number of passengers on long-haul routes, a trend which will continue in 2020 as new routes to Chicago and Hanoi are added. “The +6% increase in the number of handled passengers that was reported last year is a great result. With these results, we slightly exceeded our prediction made at the beginning of 2019. The reasons for the steady increase include a higher number of long-haul connections, as well as more frequent [flights] to the busiest European cities, such as London, Amsterdam and Moscow,” said Prague Airport Chairman of the Board of Directors Vaclav Rehor.

16 JANUARY

HUNGARY. Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport exceeded 16 million passengers for the first time in 2019. Hungary’s busiest airport handled 16,173,489 passengers, up +8.8% on 2018. London remained the most popular destination while the airport also benefited from new routes to Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing and Sanya.

Officials at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport celebrate a traffic increase of +8.8% for 2019

15 JANUARY

CHILE. A total of 24,645,705 passengers passed through Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago in 2019, a +5.7% year-on-year increase. This came despite a -1.9% year-on-year drop in traffic for December.

JORDAN. Queen Alia International Airport in Amman welcomed 8,924,080 passengers in 2019, a year-on-year jump of +5.9%. This increase came as December traffic increased +4.7% year-on-year.

FRANCE. Aéroports de Paris posted a +2.5% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers across its two international Parisian airports. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport welcomed 76.2 million passengers (+5.4% year-on-year) and Paris-Orly Airport 31.9 million (-3.8% year-on-year); the decline at Orly is due to the closure of the airport’s main runway 28 July – 2 December.

TURKEY. Passenger traffic across TAV Airports’ operations decreased by -32.6% year-on-year in 2019 due to Istanbul Atatürk Airport ceasing commercial operations on 6 April. Excluding Atatürk, TAV has reported passenger numbers were up +1.3% year-on-year at 89,087,177. This growth was led by Antalya Airport, where traffic for 2019 was up +12.6% year-on-year at 35,714,206.

Dr. Stefan Schulte: “After a long and extraordinarily strong growth phase – during which we gained almost 10 million passengers in the last three years – we can now see that the aviation industry is entering a consolidation phase”

GERMANY/INTERNATIONAL. Frankfurt Airport posted record passenger volumes in 2019, despite what parent company Fraport described as slower growth. Most Fraport Group airports worldwide also performed well.

Frankfurt Airport served over 70.5 million passengers in 2019, a +1.5% increase year-on-year and the first time the German gateway has exceeded the 70-million mark in a calendar year.

However, following a positive trend (+3.0%) in the first half of 2019, passenger volumes largely stagnated in the second half of the year (up +0.2%). In the months of November and December 2019, passenger traffic declined for the first time since November 2016.

The relatively weaker growth in full-year passenger numbers can be mainly attributed to domestic traffic (-3.4%) and European traffic (up just +1.2%). In contrast, and encouragingly from a travel retail perspective, intercontinental traffic to and from Frankfurt increased by +3.4% in 2019.

Fraport Executive Board Chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte commented: “After a long and extraordinarily strong growth phase – during which we gained almost 10 million passengers in the last three years – we can now see that the aviation industry is entering a consolidation phase. Broader economic and geopolitical uncertainties have worsened, while unilateral national measures – such as raising the local air traffic tax – are placing an additional burden on the German aviation industry in 2020.”

Outside Germany (click chart to enlarge), Ljubljana Airport in Slovenia was affected by the bankruptcy of home-carrier Adria Airways and other factors, recording a -5.0% traffic decline in 2019 and a -21.6% slump in December

In contrast, the two Brazilian airports of Fortaleza and Porto Alegre posted combined traffic growth of +3.9% to 15.5 million passengers (December 2019: up +0.3%). Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport in Peru continued the strong performance of previous years, with traffic rising by +6.6% (December 2019: up +5.4%).

Traffic at the 14 Greek regional airports expanded slightly by +0.9% to nearly 30.2 million passengers in 2019 (December 2019: down -2.2%). Following years of dynamic growth, traffic at Varna and Burgas airports in Bulgaria declined by -10.7%, due to airlines consolidating their flight offerings (December 2019: up +23.3%).

Traffic at Turkey’s Antalya Airport once again advanced rapidly, rising by +10.0% to almost 35.5 million passengers (December 2019: up +2.8%).

Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia, saw traffic climb by +8.1% to some 19.6 million passengers (December 2019: +up 5.7%). At Xi’an Xianyang International Airport in China, traffic jumped by +5.7% to over 47.2 million passengers (December 2019: up +4.7%).

14 JANUARY

RUSSIA. The number of passengers served at Sheremetyevo International Airport increased +8.9% in 2019 to 49.9 million. The most popular international destinations over the year were Antalya, Yerevan, Paris, Beijing and Tel Aviv. The most popular domestic destinations were St. Petersburg, Simferopol, Sochi, Yekaterinburg and Krasnodar.

SWITZERLAND. A total of 31,507,692 passengers passed through Zurich Airport over the course of 2019. The number of local passengers rose by +0.1% to 22.2 million and transfer passengers rose +4.2% to 9.2 million. Click here to read more

BELGIUM. Brussels Airport rounded off a strong 2019 with total passenger numbers of 1,901.816 for December, a +5.1% increase compared to December 2018. This means the airport saw a total of 26,360,003 passengers over the course of 2019, a +2,7% year-on-year increase.

GERMANY. It was a tenth consecutive record year for Munich Airport as traffic increased +4% year-on-year to 47.9 million. The airport said it was also expecting traffic to grow in 2020 thanks to Lufthansa’s decision to station more A380 and A350 long-haul airliners in Munich and the resulting addition of new intercontinental routes.

Munich Airport is predicting another year of growth in 2020

SPAIN. Airport operator AENA handled a record 275.2 million passengers in 2019, a +4.4% increase year-on-year. In the month of December, 18,247,407 passengers passed through the AENA airports, up +3.7% on December 2018.

Of the additional 275,237,801 travellers in 2019, 188.8 million made international flights, +3.5% ahead of 2018. Domestic passenger traffic rose +6.4%.

Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas was the busiest airport, handling 61.7 million passengers, up +6.6%. Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat followed, with over 52.6 million (+5%), with Palma de Mallorca (29.7 million/+2.2%) next.

Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport reached 19.8 million passengers (+4.4%) and three others again exceeded the 10 million passenger barrier: Alicante-Elche with just over 15 million (+7.6%); Gran Canaria with 13.2 million (-2.3%) and Tenerife South with 11.1 million (+1.1%).

13 JANUARY

UK. A record 80.9 million passengers travelled through Heathrow Airport in 2019, marking the ninth consecutive year of growth for the main London gateway. This passenger growth was driven by larger and fuller aircraft.

Christmas and New Year reunions fuelled passenger growth in December. Over 6.7 million passengers travelled through Heathrow during the festive season, making it the airport’s busiest December ever, up +3.1% year-on-year and the strongest monthly increase of 2019.

10 JANUARY 2020

FINLAND. Helsinki Airport posted a +4.9% year-on-year increase in passenger volumes in 2019 to reach 21.9 million. Operator Finavia reported a +4.2% traffic increase across its network in Finland to 26 million. “2019 was a year of more moderate growth and a good year overall: air traffic still increased at a rate higher than the long-term average,” commented Finavia Vice President Sales & Route Development Petri Vuori.

GREECE: Athens International Airport recorded an all-time high passenger high in 2019, as passenger traffic reached 25.57 million (+6% year-on-year). The airport said the robust growth was primarily driven by international passengers (+8.6% year-on-year) with domestic traffic flat (+0.3%).

SOUTH KOREA. A record 71.17 million passengers used Incheon International Airport in 2019, a +4.3% increase on 2018 (Source: Incheon International Airport Corporation Executive Director Kim Young-sik in The Korea Times). The number of international passengers at South Korea’s busiest airport also grew +4.3% to 70.58 million, which seems sure to maintain the airport’s status among the world’s five busiest for international traffic. Traffic growth outpaced that for duty free sales, which rose +2.7% year-on-year in 2019 to US$2.43 billion, securing Incheon’s position as the world’s number one airport duty free location.

SWEDEN. Swedavia reported that over 40 million passengers used its ten Swedish airports last year, a -4% decrease compared to 2018. International passengers decreased -2% to nearly 28 million, while the number of domestic passengers totalled about 12.4 million, a -9% decrease compared to 2018. Sweden’s largest airport, Stockholm Arlanda,  handled more than 25.6 million passengers in 2019, a -4% decrease compared to 2018.

UK. London City Airport passed 5 million annual passengers for the first time in 2019. The London airport handled 5,100,025 passengers, a +6.3% year-on-year increase. London City Airport Chief Commercial Officer Richard Hill commented: “That is why we are investing half-a-billion pounds in the transformative City Airport Development Programme to increase capacity and improve our facilities for passengers and airlines. This will ensure we can play a greater role in supporting London as an international destination for business and leisure, while also creating more opportunities for people in east London.”

London City Airport passed 5 million annual passengers for the first time in 2020

US. Orlando International Airport reinforced its position as the busiest airport in Florida by processing more than 50.1 million passengers in 2019 (+6.73% year-on-year), as calculated by the airport from a 12-month rolling total in October. Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown said: “We think 2020 is going to be more of the same. There are signs the economy is dampening a little but the thing about Central Florida is the tourism and leisure economy has been pretty resilient.”

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