Dublin Airport sees highest European growth in March

France, Germany and Italy performed below the EU average

Dublin Airport, growth, ACI Europe, traffic, passengers, Brussels

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport goes green for St Patrick's Festival in 2013 | Image: RollingNews.ie

Dublin was one of 16 EU countries to see double-digit airport growth.

The European airport trade body, ACI Europe, has released its air traffic report for March and the first quarter of the year.

It reveals that during Q1, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports grew by an average 7.8%.

More specifically, passenger traffic in the EU during the same period grew by an 8.2% - more than 4.5 times the bloc’s forecasted rate of GDP growth for 2016.

Dublin saw the biggest rise for March, with 18.1% growth.

Figures for growth in March | Source: ACI Europe

Others include Barcelona-El Prat, Copenhagen, Amsterdam-Schiphol and Madrid-Barajas.

While the core markets of France, Germany, Italy - and to a lesser extent the UK - performed below the EU average.

Dublin saw a 17.5% increase in traffic when looking at the figures for the entire first quarter of the year.

Airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year fall into group 1, while those seeing between 10 and 25 million passengers form group 2.

Figures for the first quarter of the year | Source: ACI Europe

Fallout from Brussels attacks

ACI Europe says the figures reveal that the impact of the Brussels terrorist attacks “appears to be contained to Belgium”, with Brussels Airport bearing the brunt of it.

Traffic there fell 29.1% in March and 5.3% in the first quarter.

“This mostly local/national impact is consistent with we have seen in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks of last November”, it adds.

Meanwhile, non-EU airports posted less dynamic, but improving, passenger traffic traffic of 6.2% for the first quarter.

ACI says traffic is rebounding in Ukraine and appears to be stabilising in Russia.

It has reached new peaks in Iceland - up 36.8% - while it remains fairly resilient in Turkey, which grew by 8.4%.

And freight traffic across the European airport network increased moderately by 2.1% - with all of that growth going to EU airports.