16 million air passengers in Q1 2024

People at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam
© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
The Netherlands’ five main airports combined handled 16 million passengers in Q1 2024. That was 15 percent more than in Q1 2023. The number of flights also increased: there were 121.4 thousand flights in Q1 2024 compared to 104.8 thousand one year previously, an increase of nearly 16 percent. In the same period, the volume of air cargo fell by nearly 10 percent to 383 thousand tonnes. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this on the basis of newly released figures.

Passengers transported
vervoerde passagiers    (in millions)

In Q1 2024, March was the busiest month with nearly 43 thousand commercial flights (i.e. all flights carrying passengers, mail or cargo), up 12.7 percent on the previous year. Nearly 6 million passengers were carried in that month, an increase of 11.7 percent.

Most air traffic in the Netherlands passes through Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. In the first three months of 2024, the number of flights at Schiphol was 18.5 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year (108 thousand). The number of passengers using Schiphol went up by 17.4 percent to 14.4 million.

Eindhoven Airport is the Netherlands’ second busiest airport

After Schiphol, the second busiest airport in the Netherlands is Eindhoven Airport, with 8.4 thousand flights in Q1 2024. Eindhoven Airport also ranked second in the number of passengers transported. At 1.4 million passengers, that was 8.7 percent of total passengers travelling to and from airports in the Netherlands and also slightly more than in Q1 2023.

Of the three other airports in the country, the number of flights and passengers carried to and from Rotterdam The Hague in Q1 2024 was slightly less than in Q1 2023.

The largest increase after Schiphol, both in the number of flights (up 7.5 percent) and the number of passengers handled (up 6.1 percent), was at Groningen Airport Eelde. It should be noted that Groningen Airport Eelde has the lowest number of flights and passengers carried. Maastricht Aachen Airport remains quiet following its temporary closure in May and June 2023 for runway maintenance work.

Changes in volume of air traffic, Q1 2024
luchthavenFlights (% change relative to Q1 2023)Passengers (% change relative to Q1 2023)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol18.517.4
Rotterdam The Hague Airport-2.0-0.4
Eindhoven Airport0.51.7
Maastricht Aachen Airport-22.4-22.6
Groningen Airport Eelde7.56.1

More cargo transported by air

In the Netherlands, goods are only transported by air through the airports of Amsterdam Schiphol and Maastricht Aachen. The increase in air cargo transport to and from the Netherlands, from 348 thousand tonnes in Q1 2023 to 383 thousand tonnes in Q1 2024, can largely be attributed to Schiphol. Over 98 percent of all air cargo passed through Schiphol during this period. That amounted to 377 thousand tonnes of cargo in Q1 2024, an increase of 12.5 percent year on year. A total of 6.7 thousand tonnes of cargo passed through Maastricht Airport. That was 47.7 percent less than in the previous year. With respect to cargo transport, Maastricht Aachen Airport is not yet back to the level that it was at prior to the temporary closure of its runway in 2023.

Cargo transported to/from Netherlands by air
   Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (x 1,000 tonnes)Maastricht Aachen Airport (x 1,000 tonnes)