Air passenger transport - monthly statistics
Data extracted in April 2020.
Planned article update: October 2020
In the first semester of 2019, air passenger transport in the EU increased by 5 % compared with the same period in 2018.
Austria, Croatia and Estonia recorded the highest increase in air passenger transport among the EU countries in the first semester of 2019.
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.
Development of air passenger transport at EU level
In the course of 2018 and during the first semester of 2019, the upward trend already observed in passenger transport by air for previous years was confirmed at EU level. An increase of 6.1 % was recorded between 2017 and 2018 and the figures for the first half of 2019 indicate already a year-on-year rise of 4.9 % compared with 2018.
In the first semester of 2019, international intra-EU transport represented for a half of all passengers carried at EU level, followed by extra-EU transport (around 34 %) and national transport (around 16 %) - see Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows that all the months of 2018 displayed an increase on the previous year (ranging from +5.0 % in April to +8.9 % in March). The first six months of 2019 showed rises compared with the same period in 2018, the largest rise taking place in April (+6.2 % compared with the corresponding month of 2018).
Air passenger transport at country level
Analysing passenger transport at country level generally confirms the upward trend observed in 2018 and the first semester of 2019 at EU level, although transport development varies significantly depending on the country considered. For the first six months of 2019, 25 out of the 27 Member States and all extra-EU reporting countries (except Iceland) showed an increase in passenger volumes compared with the same period in 2018. Particularly notable is the growth observed for Austria (+19.4 %), Croatia (+11.5 %) and Estonia (+10.9 %) among the EU Member States. At the other end of the scale, slight decreases were observed in passenger transport for Sweden (-3.7 %) and Bulgaria (-2.5 %).
Outside the EU, the level of growth differs across countries: on the one hand, the highest increase were registered in Serbia (+13.4 %) while, on the other hand, only a large drop was observed for Iceland (-19.8 %) when comparing the first semester of 2018 and the same period in 2019 - see Table 1.
Air passenger transport at airport level
Among the top 30 airports in terms of passenger transport, growths between the first semester of 2018 and the corresponding period of 2019 also differ substantially depending on the airport considered, reflecting the trends observed at country level. For the first six months of 2019, 25 out of the top 30 airports showed an increase over this period. Berlin/Tegel (+25.2 %) and Wien/Schwechat (+23.5 %) registered the highest rises among the largest airports, followed by Milano/Malpensa (+14.6 %). This contrasts with Stockholm/Arlanda and Köln/Bonn airports, where passenger transport decreased by 4.8 % and 4.6% respectively between in the first six months of 2019 compared with the same period of 2018 - see Table 2.
Source data for tables and graphs
Definition of 'passengers carried'
All passengers on a particular flight are 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.
- Transport, see:
- Air transport (t_avia)
- Air transport of passengers (ttr00012)
- Air transport of goods (ttr00011)
- Transport, see:
- Air transport (avia)
- Air transport measurement - passengers (avia_pa)
- Air transport measurement - freight and mail (avia_go)
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- Passenger air transport – monthly data for the first half of 2009 - Issue number 13/2010
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- Passenger air transport – 2009 and 2010 monthly data - Issue number 48/2010
- Signs of recovery for air transport in Europe in 2009 - Issue number 2/2011
- Illustrated Glossary for Transport Statistics - 4th Edition
- Passenger and freight transport by air/Traffic data/Air transport at regional level (ESMS metadata file — avia_pa_esms)
- Reference Manual on Air Transport Statistics - Version 12 (Methodological manual)