Air transport recovery interrupted by ash cloud

Because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud, the number of  air passengers passing through Dutch airports was much lower in April this year than in the same month last year. The cloud also tempered the growth in air cargo transport. No air traffic to and from the Netherlands was possible for a number of days as Dutch air space was closed.

Increase in air transport in the first three months of 2010

Following a substantial decrease since the second half of 2008 as a result of the economic crisis, air transport started to increase again in the first three months of 2010. In January 1 percent more passengers were transported than in January 2009, in March the increase had already reached 9 percent. For cargo transport the increase in these months was 19 and 27 percent respectively. After slight falls in January and February, the number of aircraft take-offs and landings was higher again in March than twelve months previously for the first time.

Air space closure halts recovery

The growth in air transport in the first three months of 2010 was interrupted by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The number of air passengers fell by 17 percent in April, while the 13 percent growth in cargo transport was much smaller than in the first three months of 2010. Lastly, 19 percent fewer aircraft took off and landed at Dutch airports than in April 2009.

Because of the ash cloud Dutch air space was closed from 18:00 hours on 15 April to 08.00 hours on 20 April. In the same period in 2007, 2008 and 2009 an average 611 thousand passengers, 19 thousand tonnes of cargo and 400 tonnes of mail were transported through Dutch airports. The average number of take-offs and landings was 7 thousand.

Air transport through Dutch airports, 2010

Air transport through Dutch airports, 2010

Wick Schaafstra