It is impossible to say whether it was November blues that weighed on the desire to travel from Copenhagen Airport last month, but there was slightly less traffic in and out of the airport during what is traditionally one of the least busy months of the year. A total of 2,164,875 passengers passed through the terminals, 2.1 per cent fewer than last year’s November record.
However, Saturday is usually the least busy day of the week, and this past November had five of them, as compared with four last year. That factor alone reduced the growth rate by 1.5 percentage points.
While the number of locally departing passengers dropped by 3.2 per cent, the number of transfer passengers was up by 3.8 per cent. SAS accounts for about 80 per cent of transfer passenger traffic at Copenhagen Airport.
“It is an important driver of our position as the leading hub of northern Europe that people from all three Scandinavian countries, the Baltic States, Poland and Germany choose to fly via Copenhagen,” said Copenhagen Airport CEO Thomas Woldbye.
Copenhagen Airport handles roughly 80,000 passengers a day. At the end of November, passenger numbers stood at 28,192,786. In a year-on-year comparison, that was 0.2 per cent, or 58,364 fewer travellers than in the record year of 2018. The decline is mainly due to three factors that each have had a significant impact on passenger traffic in 2019:
- The strike among SAS pilots has reduced traffic by between 160,000 and 200,000 passengers.
- The bankruptcies of Primera Air and Wow Air have led to almost 400,000 fewer passengers.
- Norwegian’s new strategy of putting profitability ahead of traffic growth has reduced traffic by about 485,000 passengers.
“Without the strike, the bankruptcies and Norwegian making adjustments to its traffic programme, we would have had about 2-3 per cent growth in passenger volumes, when taking into account that some passengers have found alternative routes. In other words, we’ve had decent growth in our underlying business, and generally we also continue to see a sound demand for air travel,” said Woldbye.
In terms of domestic flights, the airlines have reduced the number of departures and arrivals by 3.2 per cent in 2019 to date, while domestic traffic has dropped by 6.7 per cent.