London Heathrow, Paris and Frankfurt passenger traffic on the way back?

Aeroports de Paris (AdP) has completed the triumvirate of European hubs to report traffic performance for April, with a 1.9% year-on-year reduction in passenger numbers at Paris-Charles de Gaulle to 5.0 million. AdP group passenger numbers last month was down 1.7% to 7.3 million. It was a case of saving the best till last, as AdP (group) outperformed Fraport’s 2.1% group decline (to 5.5 million) and BAA’s 2.3% decline to 11.5 million passengers last month.

But looking at the key hubs, Heathrow performed best, with a 2.6% increase in passenger numbers last month, to 5.6 million. Paris CDG was next, with a 1.9% reduction and Frankfurt Airport trailed with a 2.1% reduction to 4.3 million passengers, as reported earlier this month in Airport Business Daily.

London Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airports passenger numbers growth
(% change year-on-year): May-2008 to Apr-2009

Outlook: Hard road ahead

The seeming improvement in April (which was boosted by Easter) could prove short-lived. The Centre expects European airlines will be forced to aggressively cut capacity levels this Summer as the premium travel market continues to struggle and European airlines take advantage of an easing of use-it-or-lose-it slot rules, and try to right-size their seating levels to meet weak demand levels.

See also The Centre's recently released survey on Global Airport Charges.

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