Václav Havel Airport continues growth

Prague's airport is one of the fastest growing in its size category

Václav Havel Airport Prague was the fifth-fastest growing airport in Europe in the third quarter of this year in the category of 10 to 25 million passengers, according to the ACI Europe Airport Traffic Report for the third quarter of 2017.

Traffic grew by 16.8 percent. The fastest growing airport in the same category was Antalya, up 56.5 percent, followed by Ankara, up 33.8 percent, Warsaw, up 24.2 percent, and Saint Petersburg, up 21.8 percent. The average increase in this group was 13.3 percent.

In the largest category for airports with over 25 million passengers, the largest growth was at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, up 19.5 percent, followed by Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, Manchester, and Oslo. The average increase for this category was 5.5 percent.

During the third quarter of this year, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports grew by 9 percent, slightly less than in Q2 when it grew 10.6 percent, according to ACI Europe.

“We are now experiencing a synchronized air traffic growth dynamic in the EU and non-EU markets. This is propelling airports across Europe towards record traffic results – with EU airports, in particular, having expanded passenger traffic by more than 20 percent over the past three years. That growth also puts a lot of pressure on airport facilities and staff – with operational efficiency and quality becoming a daily challenge for many airports,” Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, said in a press release.

“As long as economic conditions keep defying geopolitical risks, air traffic will continue to grow — spurred by the increasing reliance of businesses and consumers on air connectivity. The fact that economic sentiment in the EU has just reached historic highs is encouraging – even though recent spikes in oil prices are a worry. For now, disruptions to air traffic in Europe are coming from airlines having gone bust, being partially taken over or massively canceling flights and reducing capacity due to operating issues. Expect more impact from that on traffic figures in the coming weeks,” he added.

Václav Havel Airport in September handled 1,612,825 passengers. Compared to the same period last year, this is an increase of 15.86 percent. Most passengers were heading to European destinations like London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Moscow.

Prague's airport in 2016 for the first time had more the 13 million passengers in one year, making it the most successful year since 2008 when 12.6 million passengers passed through what was then called Prague Ruzyně International Airport.

In May 2016, the airport began handling A380 passenger jets operated by Emirates. The plane is currently the largest in passenger service.

The airport's name was changed to Václav Havel Airport Prague on Oct. 5, 2012, on what would have been former president Havel's 76th birthday. Havel died Dec. 18, 2011.

Prague–Ruzyně Airport began operations April 5, 1937. It won a design award at the Paris 1937 World's Fair for the architecture of the original check-in building, which is now Terminal 4. Among other achievements, the airport stood in for Miami International Airport in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.

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