Regional airports benefit from low-cost carriers

16/06/2011 15:00

The number of passengers departing from and arriving at regional airports has grown substantially. Last year 3.5 million passengers travelled to and from airports in the municipalities of Groningen, Maastricht, Eindhoven or Rotterdam versus 2.9 million in 2009, an increase by 18 percent.

Number of budget flights continues to grow

Regional airports again showed an increase after the downturn in 2009, when the introduction of the aviation tax and the global economic crisis had a downward effect on the number of passengers. Last year’s substantial growth is due to the large number of passengers travelling with budget airlines. The number of people opting for cheap flights has increased for years.

In 2007 2.6 million people chose to travel with low-cost carriers versus 3.3 million in 2010, i.e. an increase by 29 percent, whereas the number of passengers carried by traditional airlines was reduced by 43 percent. Currently, low-cost airlines account for 95 percent of all regional airport passengers.

Number of passengers to and from regional airports

Number of passengers to and from regional airports

Three quarters of budget airline passengers travel via Schiphol

Although the number of budget airline passengers at regional airports is growing, three quarters of these passengers still depart from and arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Yet, budget airline passengers make up only one fifth of all passengers at Schiphol. Altogether, Schiphol handled 45.1 million passengers of whom 9.5 million travelled aboard low-cost carriers.

Unlike at regional airports, the number of budget airline passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was reduced in 2009 by 14 percent from 10.5 to 9 million. Although the number of budget airline passengers grew by 5.3 percent in 2010, the level of 2007 has as yet not been reached.

Number of passengers to and from Schiphol

Number of passengers to and from Schiphol

Jelmer de Groot