ACI EUROPE has published its latest figures, showing an increase in passenger traffic across the European airport network of 8.5 per cent in April compared to the same month last year.

Volumes were just 0.2 per cent down on pre-pandemic levels, or as ACI put it “a hair’s breadth away from full recovery”.

In March the association – which represents more than 500 airports in 55 countries – released data showing that international passenger volumes had reached pre-Covid levels, with domestic traffic continuing to lag behind.

European airports’ international passenger traffic reaches pre-pandemic levels

Heathrow remained the busiest European airport, with traffic up 4.8 per cent on April 2023, and just 1.4 per cent down on April 2019.

The London hub was followed by Istanbul Airport, which saw passenger traffic figures up 10.5 per cent on last year, and 22.4 per cent up on April 2019.

Paris CDG was in third place, although its passenger traffic was still 11.5 per cent down on April 2019, and Amsterdam Schiphol was fourth, with traffic down 10.4 per cent on pre-Covid levels.

Madrid Barajas rounded off the top five, with traffic up 10.6 per cent on April 2023, and up 6.7 per cent on April 2019.

Overall traffic at Europe’s Major airports (those welcoming more than 40 million passengers per year) was down just 1.6 per cent on pre-pandemic levels.

This compared with the figures for Small airports (those welcoming between 1,000 and one million passengers per year), which remained 31.5 per cent down on April 2019.

Several European airports are forecasting record traffic numbers for 2024, with Heathrow now expecting to welcome 82.4 million passengers this year.

Heathrow increases 2024 traffic forecast to 82.4 million

Earlier this year Istanbul Airport said it was targeting 85 million passengers in 2024, up from 76 million last year.