According to statistics from the UAF (Union des Aéroports Français), French airports handled 44,101,509 passengers in the first quarter of 2019, up +4.8% (+2.034 million passengers) over the same period last year.
International arrivals experienced the strongest increase in France (+5.1%), although domestic flights also showed a strong increase (+4.7%). The airports of Nantes Atlantique (+14.2%) and Basel-Mulhouse (+10.2%) had the most significant growth in number of arrivals. Bordeaux Mérignac and Lyon St-Exupéry airports also made good progress (+9.7% each). Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), the leading airport in France, continued its ascent at a rate of +5.7% during the quarter, for a total of 16.481 million passengers, well ahead of Orly Airport with 7.255 million passengers (+0.6%).
More broadly, European airports grew by 4.4%, slightly below the French national average. France's leading airport is thus experiencing a higher increase than its neighboring counterparts in Germany (Frankfurt +2.5%), the Netherlands (Amsterdam-Schiphol +1.6%), or even England (London-Heathrow +1.4%). The Turkish airport Istanbul-Atatürk experienced a decline (-2.7%), as a result of the country's political circumstances and the gradual transfer of activities to the new Istanbul International Airport last April 5 and 6, resulting in slower traffic over this period.
Generally speaking, the European platforms present positive results in this first quarter, although the sector encountered major upsets during the same period on behalf of transporters. Clearly the airline industry is multi-faceted depending on the angle from which it is observed.