Air passenger numbers reaching record high

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
In Q3 2019, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the four other Dutch national airports handled altogether over 23 million passengers. This is more than 1 percent up on the previous year and the highest number of air passengers ever measured within one quarter. All airports except Groningen Airport Eelde had the busiest summer in history this year. This is evident from the quarterly Aviation monitor, a publication (in Dutch only) by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Slightly more than 20 million passengers went through Schiphol airport in Q3. Year-on-year, passenger traffic still showed limited growth at 0.2 percent. Growth has levelled off since Q2 2018. This is due to the fact that the total number of movements must not exceed 500 thousand per year, as laid down in the Alders Agreement. In Q3, the number of movements declined by 1 percent year-on-year.

Aircraft movements and number of passengers carried at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
yearquarterMovements (year-on-year % change)Passengers (year-on-year % change)

The busiest day at Schiphol airport was Monday 5 August with 235 thousand arrivals and departures. On Friday 13 September there were altogether 1,526 commercial flights to and from Schiphol, the highest number of flights within one day during Q3. In the same period, the lowest number of flights at 1,126 was recorded on Wednesday 24 July, when Schiphol Airport was facing fuel problems.

Wide range of destinations throughout the summer

In the months of July, August and September, 87 percent of all passengers flew via Amsterdam; 9 percent went via Eindhoven and the remaining 4 percent via Rotterdam, Maastricht and Groningen. Apart from every airport’s regular air services, these were predominantly holiday flights. The various national airports have a wide variety of destinations.

Top 3 of arrivals and departures at partner airports, Q3 2019
AirportPassengers (x 1,000)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
London Heathrow427
Barcelona-El Prat375
Dublin Airport315
Eindhoven Airport
London Stansted90
Budapest Liszt Ferenc83
Rotterdam The Hague Airport
Alicante El Altet51
Maastricht Aachen Airport
Alicante El Altet14
Groningen Eelde
London Southend11

The three main ports of origin and destination served by Schiphol Airport were unchanged from Q3 2018, despite a small decline in passenger numbers on each of the three routes this year. Most passengers embarking at Eindhoven Airport flew to and from London Stansted: altogether over 90 thousand. This represents a 50-percent increase relative to Q3 2018.
Although the number of passengers at Rotterdam The Hague Airport flying to and from Faro was down almost 4 percent year-on-year, this remained the most popular flight destination with over 52 thousand passengers. Passengers at Maastricht Aachen Airport were mostly heading for Antalya, Turkey in both Q3 2018 and Q3 2019.

Over 2 million passengers at Eindhoven Airport

Eindhoven Airport handled a record number of over 2 million travellers in Q3, nearly 8 percent more than in the same quarter in 2018. Groningen Airport Eelde had fewer passengers for the third consecutive quarter.
The number of passengers travelling through Maastricht Aachen Airport in Q3 2019 was 50 percent up on the previous year, ending at nearly 205 thousand. This was relatively the sharpest increase of all five national airports. This is the sixth consecutive quarter this airport is showing the strongest relative growth. However, Maastricht Aachen Airport handles only 1 percent of the total in the Netherlands.

Passengers at Dutch airports, Q3 2019
nationale luchthavenChange (year-on-year % change)
Maastricht Aachen Airport52.2
Rotterdam The Hague Airport10.9
Eindhoven Airport7.7
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol0.1
Groningen Airport Eelde-21.0