01 February 2006

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Business Today

EU air passengers transport up 8.8 per cent in 2004

In 2004, the total number of passengers transported by air in the EU25 rose by 8.8%, to 650 million. Of these, 24% were carried on national flights, 42% on intra-EU flights and 34% on extra-
EU flights. London/Heathrow remained EU’s busiest airport in terms of passengers, handling 67 million in 2004 - about 10% of all air passengers in the EU, and up 6.2% on 2003. With just under 51 million passengers each Paris/Charles de Gaulle (up 6.1%) and Frankfurt (up 5.6%) were the second and third busiest airports in the EU, followed by Amsterdam (42 million passengers) and Madrid (38 million). Prague/Ruzyne, with 9.6 million passengers, remained the top airport of the new Member States, moving to 27 place compared to 36 in 2003.
While passenger numbers rose in all Member States in 2004, seven of the new Member States recorded growth above 25%, the highest being Slovakia (+73%), followed by the three Baltic countries: Latvia (+49%), Estonia (+40%) and Lithuania (+38%). The smallest increases were recorded in Portugal and Luxembourg (+4% each).
Malta saw an increase of 5.4% in passenger numbers but saw the amount of freight passing through Gudja drop by 3.5%.
These figures and more are published in a recent report from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, on air transport in the EU, Candidate countries and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland in 2004. This wide-ranging report also looks in detail at national, intra-EU and international air transport passengers and freight, as well as the most important airport pairs, nationally and internationally.
In 2004, air freight rose in the EU25 by 9.6% to almost 10.7 million tonnes, 80% of which was with non-EU countries. The main partners were North America, up 7% on 2003, and representing 31% of freight traffic with non-EU countries, the Far East (up 16% and accounting for 27%) and the Near and Middle East (an increase of 8%, making up 14% of the total).
German and British airports handled almost half of all EU air freight. Frankfurt (1.8 million tonnes, up 11% on 2003) was in 2004 EU’s leading airport for air freight, followed by Amsterdam (1.5 million, up 8%), London/Heathrow (1.4 million, up 9%) and Paris/Charles de Gaulle (1.3 million, up 7%). Together, they handled 56% of all EU air freight. A second group, Brussels, Cologne/Bonn, and Luxembourg, each handling more than 600 000 tonnes, accounted for another 18%.

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