During Annual Congress & General Assembly, ACI Europe reported that European airports welcomed in excess of 100 million additional passengers over 2015. This resulted in more than 1.95 billion passengers using airport facilities across the continent.

While traffic remains dynamic in 2016, the terror attacks in Brussels have taken their toll on passenger demand, with an estimated 2 million passengers lost as a direct result of these attacks. This means a -0.5% impact on cumulative passenger traffic growth since January – which is thus standing at +6.4% instead of +6.9%.

ACI Europe revealed that the top 21 airports in the EU & EFTA invested more than €53 billion back into their facilities over the past 10 years.

This summer, traffic growth looks set to be focused on intra-European routes, where Low Cost Carriers are adding capacity and increasing market shares. Growth on Intercontinental routes has generally slowed down, on the back of emerging markets’ economic woes and security concerns over Europe as a destination. The main exceptions remain routes to the Middle East and North America, with the later seeing traffic stimulated by US airlines adding capacity and Low Cost Carrier penetration. 

The financial performance of Europe’s airports keeps improving, with the industry’s average return on invested capital (ROIC) now standing at +7.2% - in line with the cost of capital. However, airports in the EU and those in the Eurozone are underperforming (respectively +6.4% and +6.1%), even more so when compared to airports in emerging markets (+12.2%).