The top 10 airlines at Copenhagen Airport in 2020

2019 seemed to be a year rather like any other; traffic growth was in a fairly steady state, and new routes were being added along with readjustments to existing networks. It was the kind of business we knew and understood. Then suddenly the world as we knew it, was about to change, as 2020 began with news of a rapidly spreading virus outside China.

Airline Winners
PUBLISHED: 15/02/2021

In the midst of all the upheaval of 2020, with shrinking and then shrunken, traffic numbers, and fearful stories of traffic not returning for many years, perhaps we forget to look a little deeper at the numbers sometimes. You might even expect to see that the whole market has been turned upside down, and that the makeup of the airline and destination portfolios would be unrecognizable. Let’s take a look at Copenhagen Airport; the top 10 airlines, and a regional destination split as well, and see what actually happened between 2019 and 2020.

Top 10 Airlines, 2019 vs 2020

We can see that, not unexpectedly SAS retain ‘top spot’ as the largest carrier at Copenhagen Airport, albeit with a drastic drop in traffic volumes. Norwegian, despite their hiatus mid-year, have retained second place, as a result of their return to Copenhagen Airport with a focus on the Aalborg route. Ryanair and easyJet round off the unchanged top 4. Perhaps it’s only to be expected that the remaining airlines in the top 10s are network carriers – apart from one notable exception. Danish Air Transport jumped from 14th place in 2019 to No 7 in 2020, as a result of their continued focus on domestic traffic – this has enabled DAT to ride out the storms that have affected the overseas network airlines who are at the mercy of border closures to either their home base, or significant destinations within their beyond networks – see Finnair and British Airways as examples impacted in this manner.

Destination split changes, 2019 vs 2020

As the major hub for Northern Europe and Scandinavia, and given Denmark’s limited geographical size, it’s not surprising that historically, international traffic has been almost 95% of the total volume of pax through Copenhagen Airport.

In 2020, we saw some changes here, although we continued to see traffic to destinations outside Denmark maintain the lion’s share of volume, the domestic performance was impressive in relative growth:

As previously mentioned, restrictions on international travel, both within and without Europe, have choked off demand; domestic travel is not subject to such external factors, and thus remains strong. Indeed, in recent weeks, flights to Bornholm have been the only means of access to this Baltic island.

In conclusion – briefly – despite having seen a terrifying reduction in traffic numbers, and the overall number of flights, on the whole, demand remains in roughly the same shape and form as we have seen in the past; what’s changed, is the size. We look forward to getting bigger again, as soon as possible!

Simon Nathan

Senior Manager, Commercial Strategy and Route Development
+45 3123 5772