Record growth in 2016

More than 29 million people passed through Copenhagen Airport in 2016, the highest figure ever in the airport’s history. In December, passenger numbers topped 2 million.

Written 11.01 2017

In 2016, 29,043,287 people passed through Copenhagen Airport, an average of more than 79,500 every single day. This set a new record for the airport for most passengers in a single year. Compared with the previous year, total passenger numbers increased by 9.1%.

The growth was driven in particular by European traffic, which showed an increase of more than 2 million passengers, equivalent to 9.1% growth, while long-haul intercontinental routes experienced the highest growth rate at 10.9%.

A key factor in the high growth in 2016 was the opening of 22 new routes to Copenhagen Airport, with Boston,  Groeningen, Yekaterinburg, Miami and other cities added to the route map. These new routes are helping to attract business passengers and, not least, tourists to Denmark, according to Copenhagen Airport's CEO Thomas Woldbye.

“In recent years, we’ve put a lot of effort into expanding the number of direct routes,” says Thomas Woldbye. “We now have more than 160 direct routes out into the world, which is one of the main reasons why more people are choosing to come here, while travellers from Denmark and the south of Sweden have great options to get directly to their destinations. We’re in stiff competition with other European airports to attract airlines, and the competition won’t get any easier in the coming years, but we’re in a strong position, as the high growth in 2016 demonstrates.”

In December, Copenhagen Airport submitted Expanding CPH, a major plan detailing how the airport will be expanded in the coming years. On Tuesday, the airport presented two specific expansion projects: the construction of Pier E, incorporating new gates for large long-haul aircraft, and a major expansion of the area after the central security checkpoint.

“We’re investing large sums of money in expanding and developing the airport,” says Thomas Woldbye. “Our goal is to create capacity for 40 million passengers a year, which means we need more space for both aircraft and passengers. The two projects we’ve just launched are about precisely that. Pier E will provide capacity for more long-haul aircraft, while the expansion of the airport after the central security checkpoint will give passengers better dwelling facilities and new opportunities for experiences before they depart. Our expansion plan requires investment of DKK 20 billion and is expected to create 9,000 permanent jobs across Denmark.”

The high growth in traffic is a result of increases in all segments. There have thus been increases in both tourists and business travellers, and in both point-to-point and network airlines.

“Our strategy is about creating growth in both network traffic and point-to-point traffic, and we can point to growth in both segments in 2016,” says Thomas Woldbye. “This indicates that Denmark is capturing a good share of the global growth in flight traffic. Our ambition is to maintain our position as an attractive airport for both network and point-to-point airlines.”

In 2016, domestic traffic grew by 6.1%, while the number of passengers transferring at Copenhagen Airport grew by 3.9%. Over the year, London was the most popular destination; more than 2,500,000 passengers flew between Copenhagen and London, an increase of 12.1%.

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