- Strong recovery (54%) in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year
- All-time record traffic numbers in Q1 in Portugal, Serbia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica
- Excluding Asia, VINCI Airports’ overall traffic numbers are nearing pre-pandemic levels (just 4% below 2019 levels)
- Improvement in Asia driven by domestic traffic in Japan and international regional travel
Airports in the VINCI Airports network welcomed over 56 million passengers in Q1 2023, i.e. almost 20 million more than in 2022 – 12% down on the same period in 2019, and just 4% down when excluding Asia. Domestic traffic has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels (3% down across the entire VINCI Airports network in March), while international traffic continues to improve (15% down). A number of airports in Europe and the Americas enjoyed record-breaking traffic numbers – exceeding those of 2019 – powered by extremely robust demand and the boom of offers implemented during the crisis.
Traffic at our airports in Portugal came to 13 million passengers in Q1 2023, 15% up on 2019, benefitting from the rapid growth in seats offered by airlines in all segments – both traditional and low cost. While Madeira remains a popular destination (with a 44% rise in traffic at Funchal, due in part to Ryanair opening a new base in April 2022), Lisbon welcomed a record 7 million passengers this quarter (up by 14%) – driven by the excellent performance of connections with France, the UK and Brazil, among others. The US market also contributed, with new routes to Chicago and San Francisco, for example. Belgrade airport in Serbia, 27% up on 2019, continues to benefit from the strong momentum of routes to Turkey (up by 84%) while developing links with other destinations, such as France, Germany and China. Supply has also increased here, for example by way of Wizzair’s third aircraft stationed at Belgrade in April 2022, followed by a fourth in April 2023. Meanwhile, in Mexico, traffic at OMA airports is enjoying buoyant growth this quarter, driven by the rapidly growing capacity of Viva Aerobus (91% up), Volaris (40%) and American Airlines (82%), contributing to increasing traffic – both domestic and to the US (24%).
Elsewhere, the recovery continues – like at London Gatwick, where traffic bounced back this quarter, particularly to Mediterranean destinations. The airport continues to improve its connectivity, as illustrated by the new flights announced for the summer (including Norse Atlantic, with five aircraft stationed at Gatwick for transatlantic connections). A number of companies, including Sky Airlines (up by 11%), bolstered their capacity at Santiago airport in Chile – contributing, for example, to the swift improvement of domestic traffic (3% down in March). In France, alpine airports have made a clear recovery with the first full ski season since 2019, but that progress was held back slightly at certain airports in March, when traffic was interrupted due to strikes by aviation workers.
And in Japan, the government’s programme to support national tourism stepped up domestic traffic over the quarter, which returned to pre-pandemic levels in March. Despite the Chinese authorities easing the main international travel restrictions, traffic to and from China has not yet recovered in a significant way. This is partly due to Japan’s restrictions on travel to and from China, in force until 1 April, as well as the time needed to rebuild travel services (i.e. visa procedures, the restablishment of flight schedules and tourism services, etc). International traffic at Asian destinations in the VINCI Airports network (Japan and Cambodia) has nevertheless improved, thanks to the increasingly robust recovery of regional flights (South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan).
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