Manchester Boston Regional Airport

Istanbul and Moscow still home to Europe’s busiest airports in April; Heathrow slumps to 14th

Analysis of passenger figures for April 2021 for over 340 airports across Europe, reveals that the top five airports are all in either Istanbul or Moscow. Istanbul’s new mega-airport leads the way with just over two million passengers, which is down 61% on the same period in 2019. Then come all three major airports serving Moscow, which in total handled just over five million passengers, making Moscow Europe’s busiest city for air travel in April. Istanbul SAW ranks fifth. A sixth airport, St. Petersburg, was the only other airport to handle over one million passengers in April. Among airports in Western Europe, Madrid (986k passengers) just edged out Frankurt (984k) for seventh place. Paris CDG and Amsterdam rounded out the top 10.

Sochi, a previous host of the Winter Olympics, located on the Black Sea, ranked 11th, with passenger numbers up 66% compared with April 2019. The region is increasingly popular with Russian tourists who are unable to travel abroad for various reasons.

Heathrow only just makes the top 15

Formerly Europe’s busiest airport by passenger numbers, London LHR ranked just 14th in April, with traffic down 92% compared with 2019. Last December it still ranked sixth, but fell to 12th in January, and then 13th in both February and March. It will be interesting to see where Heathrow ranks by the end of the year and whether it will ever regain its crown as Europe’s busiest airport. The UK overall, is also performing poorly, especially compared with other major European countries. Air travel demand in the UK in April was at 5% of the 2019 level. This compares with 11% in Germany, 12% in France, 13% in Italy and 16% in Spain. Turkey, thanks to a huge domestic market is at 39%, while Russia (based on its four biggest airports) is at 68%.

Athens International Airport

Top 15 Airports in Europe April 2021


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