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Istanbul’s new airport still Europe’s busiest in August; Heathrow climbs three places to 13th

For the second month in a row, Istanbul’s main airport was Europe’s busiest in August, handling just over 4.5 million passengers. However, that is still 32% down compared with the same month in 2019. Its nearest rival last month was another Turkish airport, Antalya. That airport welcomed over 4.3 million passengers, a decline of 23% compared with two years ago. Moscow SVO, which had led the way in June, has slipped to third. Amsterdam is in fourth place, having overhauled Paris CDG as western Europe’s busiest hub airport. In March, the Dutch airport had been as low as 11th in the rankings.

Top 15 Airports in Europe Aug 15

Among the top 15 airports last month, there were three each located in Russia, Spain and Turkey, plus two in France. The remaining four airports were in Germany (Frankfurt), Greece (Athens), Netherlands (Amsterdam) and the UK (London LHR). Heathrow is the only new entry in the top 15 (in 13th place) replacing Moscow VKO, which slips to 16th. In July, Heathrow had ranked just outside the top 15 in 16th place. Also just outside the top 15 are Munich (1.82m), Vienna (1.78m), Lisbon (1.70m) and Rome FCO (1.66m).

In July, the 15th busiest airport handled 1.85 million passengers. For August this has risen to 2.11 million. In July there were 33 airports handling at least one million passengers. In August, this has increased to 38 with Bucharest, Ibiza, London LGW, London STN and Nice all reporting seven-digit demand last month.

Traffic at around 60% of 2019 level in August

Across all the airports that handled at least one million passengers, traffic was down on average 40% in August compared with 46% in July. Among the top 15 airports, St. Petersburg was down only 4%, while Istanbul SAW was down 9% and Moscow DME down just 10%. At the other extreme, London LHR is still down 71%, Paris CDG down 53% and Frankfurt down 51%. Among the airports with more than one million passengers in August, London LGW had the biggest reduction in passengers at 79%, ahead of Rome FCO (down 63%) and Munich, London STN and Oslo, which were all down 60%.