Air passenger transport - monthly statistics

Data extracted in October 2017. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: August 2018.

This article describes the recent monthly development of passenger transport by air in the European Union (EU). A distinction is made between national (domestic), intra and extra-EU transport, and the article also looks at the importance of airports.

Figure 1: Share of and change in EU-28 monthly passengers carried in 2015 and 2016 (million passengers).
For more details about the data presented, please see the notes in the 'Data sources and availability' section.
Source: Eurostat (avia_paoc)
Figure 2: Change in EU-28 monthly passengers carried for 2015 and 2016 (compared to the same month of the previous year) (%).
For more details about the data presented, please see the notes in the 'Data sources and availability' section
Source: Eurostat (avia_paoc)
Table 1: Passengers carried per country: monthly data for 2015 and 2016 (thousand).
Source: Eurostat (avia_paoc)
Table 2: Passengers handled in top airports: monthly data for 2015 and 2016 (thousand).
Source: Eurostat (avia_paoa)

Main statistical findings

Development of air passenger transport at EU level

In the course of 2015 and 2016, the upward trend already observed in passenger transport by air for previous years was confirmed at EU-28 level, an increase of 4.7 % was recorded between 2014 and 2015 and the figures for 2016 indicate a year-on-year rise of 5.9 % compared with 2015 - see Table 1.

In 2016, international intra-EU transport represented around 47 % of all passengers carried at EU28 level, followed by extra-EU transport (around 36 %) and national transport (around 17 %) - see Figure 1.

Figure 2 shows that all the months of 2015 displayed an increase on the previous year (ranging from +2.9 % in April to +5.9 % in March). All the months of 2016 showed rises compared with the same period of 2015, the largest rise taking place in December (+11.4 % compared with the corresponding month of 2015).

Air passenger transport at country level

Analysing passenger transport at country level generally confirms the upward trend observed in 2015 and 2016 at EU-28 level, although transport development varies significantly depending on the country considered. For 2016, 26 out of the 28 Member States and all extra-EU reporting countries (except Turkey) showed an increase in passenger volumes compared with 2015. Particularly remarkable is the growth observed for Bulgaria (+23 %), Romania (+20 %) and Cyprus (+18 %) among the EU Member States. At the other end of the scale, a decrease was observed in passenger transport for Belgium (-3 %) and for Slovenia (-2 %).

Outside the EU-28, the level of the growth differs across countries: on the one hand, the highest year-on-year increases were registered in Iceland (+40 %) and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (+14 %) while, on the other hand, a decrease was observed for Turkey (-4 %).

Air passenger transport at airport level

Within the top 30 airports in terms of passenger transport, growths between 2015 and 2016 also differ substantially depending on the airport considered, reflecting the trends observed at country level. For 2016, 28 out of the top 30 airports showed an increase over this period. London/Luton and Malaga/Costa Del Sol registered the highest rises among the largest airports with respectively an increase of 19 % and 16 % respectively, followed by Warsaw/Chopina (+15 %). This contrasts with Brussels airport, where passenger transport decreased by 6 % in 2016 compared with 2015 - see Table 2.

Data sources and availability

Definition of 'passengers carried'

All passengers on a particular flight counted once only and not repeatedly on each individual stage of that flight. This excludes direct transit passengers.

Exclusion of double counting

The national transport (included in total transport at country level) and intra-EU transport aggregates (included in total transport at EU level) have been calculated so as to exclude double counting by taking into account only departure declarations.

Notes on some reporting countries

  • Turkey: only provides flight stage data (Dataset A1) (in which there is no information on passenger carried) and airport declarations (Dataset C1) in which the partner airport is not provided (exclusion of double counting is not possible). The sum of all Turkish airport declarations (available in avia_tf_apal) is used in this publication. As a consequence the national total presented in Table 1 is overestimated (as it is not possible to apply double counting exclusion for national transport).


The content of this statistical article is based on data collected within the framework of the EU air transport statistics Regulation (EC) No 437/2003 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air.

The basic legal act was amended by:

See also

Further Eurostat information


Main tables

Air transport (t_avia)
Air transport of passengers (ttr00012)
Air transport of goods (ttr00011)


Air transport (avia)
Air transport measurement - passengers (avia_pa)
Air transport measurement - freight and mail (avia_go)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

Other information

Responsible unit

  • E3 Transport

External links