Airport passenger numbers increase, except at Faro

By ANA TAVARES [email protected]

The number of passengers in Portuguese airports has registered a 1.2% growth in the first six months of the year compared to the same period of 2011, according to data released by ANA Aeroportos in late July.

In the first half of the year, 12.7 million passengers travelled through the airports of Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Beja and the Azores – an average of 69,780 people a day – whilst in 2011 the figure stood at 12.5 million passengers.

However, and unlike other Portuguese airports, Faro registered a slight decrease in air traffic with a drop of 0.1% in the number of people travelling through the Algarve’s only major airport.

The Azores airport showed an even larger contraction (down by 9.3%), whilst in Porto the number of passengers remained stable at around 2.8 million passengers.

Lisbon displayed the largest increase in passenger numbers, with a 3.1% rise in passenger traffic (around seven million people).

Commenting on other European countries, ANA airports stated in a press release:  “In terms of markets, we highlight the growth registered in France (an increase of 5.7%), Germany (7.2%) and The Netherlands (31.3%)”.

TAP Portugal, the country’s national airline, accounted for 40% of all flights, with low-cost flight companies Ryanair and easyJet respectively responsible for 13.3% and 13% of the air traffic.

Between them, these three airlines transported the large majority of people (66.3%), but it was TAP Portugal that registered the largest traffic increase, carrying an additional 232,500 passengers compared to the first six months of 2011.

The figures also revealed that the passenger traffic in ANA airports registered a year-on-year rise of 2.5% in June, with the low-cost segment showing a 7% increase.

The Azores airport is less healthy with passenger numbers continuing to plummet in June, showing a 15% decrease.