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Passenger growth at Europe's airports has slowed

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ACI’s Olivier Jankovec

ACI’s Olivier Jankovec

ACI’s Olivier Jankovec

EUROPE'S airports reported the slowest passenger growth in five years in 2019, but a record 2.43 billion flyers still passed through the region's gateways, according to the European arm of Airports Council International.

It said growth last year slowed due to slippage in the non-EU market, declining domestic traffic, as well as airline bankruptcies and capacity constraint in the EU market.

Thomas Cook, Wow Air and Germania were among the carriers to go bust in 2019.

ACI Europe said passenger growth rose 3.2pc in 2019 across 46 countries it counts as being within the European airport network. It includes countries such as Turkey.

The growth rate last year was just slightly more than half the 6pc pace notched up in 2018, according to ACI.

Ireland's biggest gateway, Dublin Airport, saw 32.9 million passengers use the facility last year. That was a new record for the airport, and 4pc higher than in 2018.

"Over the past five years, Europe's airports have increased their passenger traffic by more than 32pc, meaning they have actually accommodated an extra 595 million passengers since 2014," said ACI Europe director-general Olivier Jankovec.

"But 2019 has been a pivotal year. Volumes were still up, but the deceleration has been notable on the back of both supply and demand pressures," he added.

Airports in Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Malta, Luxembourg and Portugal grew at more than twice the EU average.

Irish Independent