Passenger traffic at Dutch airports levelling off

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
In Q2 2019, a total of 21.8 million passengers flew to and from the Netherlands. This is 2.7 percent more than in Q2 2018. The total weight of transported cargo was 9.4 percent lower than one year previously. At 175 thousand, the total number of aircraft movements to and from the five national airports was virtually the same as in Q2 2018. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in its quarterly monitor on aviation.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol recorded over 19 million passenger arrivals and departures in Q2 2019, 1.4 percent up on Q2 2018. The growth in passenger numbers has levelled off since the latter quarter. This slowing growth in number of passengers carried is related to the set limit of 500 thousand aircraft movements per year, as laid down in the Alders Platform covenant from 2008. This maximum ceiling was almost reached in 2018. In the first half of this year, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol recorded more than 240 thousand movements in air cargo transport, slightly less than in the first half of 2018.

Number of passengers and cargo flights at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (year-on-year % change)
JaarKwartaalCargo flightsPassengers
2016Q15.912.5
Q25.88.0
Q37.07.6
Q46.29.2
2017Q15.38.5
Q24.58.8
Q32.66.1
Q42.87.6
2018Q13.48.3
Q2-0.93.3
Q3-1.61.1
Q42.03.5
2019Q1-0.11.7
Q2-0.11.4

Strongest relative growth again in Maastricht

Out of the nearly 21.8 million air passengers travelling to and from the Netherlands during the months of April, May and June of this year, 87 percent went via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Eindhoven Airport - the second largest national airport in the Netherlands in terms of passenger arrivals and departures - processed 1.9 million travellers, 12.5 percent more than in Q2 2018. Nearly 640 thousand passengers travelled via Rotterdam The Hague Airport, an increase of over 9 percent. The lowest passenger numbers were handled by Maastricht Aachen Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde. The latter saw numbers decline by over 12 percent to 57 thousand in Q2 2019.

Because of the small number of passengers (128 thousand in Q2 2019), Maastricht Aachen Airport has seen the highest growth among the national airports for several quarters on end.

Passenger traffic at Dutch airports, Q2 2019 (year-on-year % change)
 Development
Maastricht Aachen Airport54
Eindhoven Airport13
Rotterdam The Hague Airport9
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol1
Groningen Airport Eelde-12

Decline in air cargo transport

In Q2 2019, the volume of air cargo carried to and from the Netherlands amounted to nearly 414 thousand tonnes, 9.4 percent down on one year previously.

Most of the cargo was carried to and from Asia. This amounted to 184 thousand tonnes in Q2 2019, over 13 percent less than in the same period last year. Cargo transported to and from the Americas amounted to almost 120 thousand tonnes in the same period, down by 7 percent on Q2 2018. Within Europe, air cargo transport dropped by nearly 9 percent to 65 thousand tonnes relative to Q2 2018. At 44 thousand tonnes, only cargo transport to and from Africa was the same in 2019 year-on-year.

Air cargo transport, total of origin and destination, Q2 (1,000 tonnes)
 20192018
Asia184212
North America7781
Europe6572
Africa4444
Central and
South America
4348