The traffic trend in Italian and European airports

The traffic trend in Italian and European airports1

The performance of European airports
During 2016, airports with traffic exceeding 25 million passengers a year, those with traffic ranging between 10 and 25 million passengers, those with between 5 and 10 million passengers, and finally airports that receive less than 5 million passengers a year, recorded an average performance of: +2.6%, +6.7%, +10.3% and +5.8%.
The growth in passenger traffic, driven mainly by low-cost airlines, was rewarded especially for secondary and emerging hubs, as well as medium-sized airports.
This was especially the case for Barcelona (+11.2%), Dublin (+11.5%), Manchester (+10.8%), Lisbon (+11.7%), Athens (+10.6%), Birmingham (+14.3%), Budapest (+36.7%), Warsaw (+14.5%), Edinburgh (+11.1%), Cologne 11.1%), Bucharest (+18.3%), Venice (+10%), Bologna (+11.5%).
The five major European hubs (Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt, Schiphol and Madrid) and the smaller regional airports significantly underperformed compared to the European average, growing by just 1.5% and 4.3% respectively. 

2016 European airport traffic ranking (*)

 PassengerCommercial MovementsFreight
CityCodeAnno 20162016/152016/14Anno 20162016/15Anno 20162016/15
1 LONDONLHR75.714.9701,0%3,1%473.2290,2%1.541.2013,0%
2 PARISCDG65.935.7480,3%3,3%472.9250,8%1.984.0294,6%
3 AMSTERDAMAMS63.618.8679,2%15,7%478.8666,3%1.662.0142,5%
4 FRANKFURTFRA60.786.937-0,4%2,0%452.522-0,9%2.029.0581,8%
5 ISTANBULIST60.011.454-2,1%5,7%448.7980,4%783.185-0,5%
6 MADRIDMAD50.400.4427,7%20,5%377.4003,1%415.7749,1%
7 BARCELONABCN44.131.03111,2%17,6%304.6556,6%132.75413,3%
8 LONDONLGW43.136.0477,1%13,2%278.7435,0%77.0945,0%
9 MUNICHMUC42.261.3093,1%6,5%374.0573,9%334.4975,4%
10 ROMEFCO41.738.6623,3%8,4%310.845-0,3%154.97712,1%

Source: ENAC, ACI Europe (2016), Airport Traffic Report
(*) Passenger data also include transits.

Amsterdam Schiphol is the only major airport that increased its traffic considerably (9.2%), taking the spot of Istanbul-Atatürk as the third busiest airport in Europe with 63.6 million passengers, behind London- Heathrow (75.7 million passengers, +1%) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (65.9 million passengers, +0.3%). Istanbul-Ataturk is fifth (60 million passengers, -2.1%), while Frankfurt held its position as 4th busiest European airport (60.7 million passengers and -0.4%).
In the special European ranking, Rome Fiumicino placed 10th behind Monaco (+3.1%) and ahead of Moscow (+7.6%), while Milan Malpensa was ranked 29th.

The performance of Italian airports
In the 2016 list of the top 10 Italian airports by number of passengers, we find Bologna with 7,828,590 passengers (+11.7%), followed by Catania with 7,828,590 (+11.4%) and Naples with 6,753,639 (+10.4%). They were followed by Venice, which for the first time exceeded 9 million, recording at the end of the year 9,548,697 (+10%), Palermo with 5,309,696 (+8.5%) and Bergamo with 11,059,238 (+7.3%). Milan Malpensa scored +4.7% with 19,311,565 and Rome Fiumicino +3.3% with 41,569,038. Milan Linate, with 9,636,221, remained essentially in line with the values recorded in 2015.
As regards the cargo sector, with 548,768 tons of goods and mail, Milan Malpensa confirmed its place as the most active airport for import/export share, with an incidence of 54.9% over the total volume of transit across the country (followed by Rome Fiumicino (+10.9%) with 160,867 tons (16.1% of the total) and Bergamo (-2.7%) with 117,659 tons , equal to 11.8%.
For General Aviation traffic, which includes air club activities, flying schools, small private aircraft, air advertising services, air photography, etc., the first airport by number of movements is Rome Urbe, followed by Milan Linate and Turin Aeritalia.

High traffic routes and main carriers of the Italian market
From the point of view of domestic connections, the Catania-Rome Fiumicino route is yet again the route that gathers the largest number of passengers, with 1,038,945 passengers, followed by Rome Fiumicino-Catania with 1,008,295 and Palermo-Fiumicino with 798,736. Fifth place goes to Milan Linate-Rome Fiumicino with 597,974 passengers.
The ranking of routes from/to intra-European countries is topped by Rome Fiumicino-Barcelona with 1,314,602 passengers, followed by Rome Fiumicino-Madrid with 1,106,699.
Third place went to Rome Fiumicino-Paris Charles de Gaulle, with 1,105,420 passengers, followed by Rome Fiumicino-Amsterdam Schiphol, with 1,098,610 and Rome Fiumicino-London Heathrow with 987,509. Total traffic from/to European countries has grown steadily over the years, going from just under 70 million to more than 80 million passengers in 2016. The international routes with the largest number of passengers were Milan Malpensa-New York JFK with 689,995, Rome Fiumicino-Tel Aviv Ben Gurion with 677,453, Rome Fiumicino-New York JFK with 652,262, Rome Fiumicino-Dubai with 610,339 and Milan Malpensa-Dubai with 587,576.
In the ranking of overall domestic and international air traffic, the Irish carrier Ryanair confirmed its the first place in 2016, with 32,615,348 passengers, with a 9.8% increase over 2015. Alitalia followed with 23,106,354 (+0.5%), easyjet was third with 14,335,531 (-0.2%), Vueling Airlines fourth with 5.601919 (+11.3%), Lufthansa fifth with 4,287,095 (-1.1%).
Taking into consideration exclusively the domestic traffic, with 12,778,924 Alitalia confirmed its first place in this ranking, followed by Ryanair with 10,460,364 and Easyjet with 2,614,815. 2016 shows a division of overall air traffic market share (domestic and international) that is substantially balanced between traditional carriers (50.5%) and low-cost carriers (49.5%).
The most interesting observation, however, is the steady growth that has characterized the low-cost segment over the last 10 years.
Suffice it to say that the share of low-cost traffic in 2004 was only 6.2%, in 2005 it reached 17.9%, and today it accounts for about half of total traffic (49.5%). In 2016, the growth of low-cost carriers compared to 2015 was +7%, against the 2.5% of traditional carriers. 

(1) Source: ACI Europe, Press Release of 17/02/2017; ENAC, Social Report and Summary Statement 2016