Want more of Europe? CPH has got it!

With a short-haul network of over 120 direct destinations, CPH is well connected to the rest of Europe. We examine the development of the airport’s short-haul departures board over the last five years, as well as revealing which destinations remain as unserved opportunities.

Want more of Europe? CPH has got it!
PHOTO BY: Copenhagen Airports
PUBLISHED: 17/10-2019

Looking back five years to S14, Copenhagen Airport offered the same amount of domestic and short-haul destinations as Oslo Gardermoen (both 102), and it was well ahead of both Stockholm Arlanda and Helsinki. That said, CPH had a far more diverse European network than its Norwegian cousin in S14 – 96 routes versus 74. This was as a result of the distances and topography of Norway, meaning that Gardermoen was connected to 28 domestic destinations. In comparison, CPH was connected to just six ─ a total reflecting Denmark’s more confined home market geography. Arlanda (71 international; 25 domestic) and Helsinki (48 international; 15 domestic) were similarly less-European facing than the Danish hub five years ago. Today, Copenhagen is still linked to the same six home airports, but of the four Scandinavian gateways it is the only one to have grown in the domestic market (+3.3%) over the preceding five years, with capacity declines witnessed at competing nordic airports.

Between S14 and S19, CPH’s European capacity offer grew by 17%. CPH now provides 33%, 55% and 70% more short-haul international seats than its competing hub airports in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Over this five-year period, Scandinavia’s busiest airport added 21 short-haul destinations. CPH’s network now totals 123 points, remaining ahead of Arlanda (121), Gardermoen (109) and Helsinki (105). In 2014, CPH handled 11.5 million one-way short-haul passengers and reached 13.3 million in 2018, equal to a 16% increase.

UK and France route boost

The UK was a focal market for expansion in S19, with three new airports added to the nine already served. Liverpool was launched in April, as Ryanair commenced a twice-weekly rotation to the home of The Beatles. The ULCC began CPH’s fifth connection to the UK’s capital city by adding London Southend to its burgeoning route portfolio. SAS completed the trio of new UK services in June, when it opened seasonal flights to Newquay. (all new airlines, routes and markets are in bold)

France was another dynamic short-haul market in S19, as both easyJet and Transavia began services from Nantes in April. This is the second route for the Dutch/French LCC, as it already flies to Eindhoven. In the same month, Ryanair also started a three times weekly service from Bordeaux, while SAS added Marseille to our network from late-June – a route that Ryanair also entered on 5 October.

Increasing European market coverage

SAS also increased its existing Polish operations (which include Warsaw Chopin, Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk and Wroclaw), with a new service to Szczecin. SAS now offers over 7,300 weekly seats to Poland. Looking east again, Wizz Air started our second destination in Ukraine in early March, commencing a twice-weekly operation to Lviv. This is joining existing flights to Kiev Boryspil (Ukraine International Airlines) and Kiev Zhulyany (Wizz Air). Albania and Georgia bothbecame new country markets for CPH in S19, as Norwegian offered a peak season weekly flight to Tirana, while Wizz Air commenced a twice-weekly rotation to Kutaisi.

Last serving Copenhagen in September 2016, Air Europa re-joined our airline roll call in June, opening three times weekly Madrid flights until 14 September. Dutch regional carrier AIS Airlines also joined this autumn, linking Munster/Osnabrück and Groningen to the Danish capital city. In addition to new destinations, there was also plenty of growth on existing markets too, with the likes of airBaltic (Tallinn), Lauda (Stuttgart, Dusseldorf), Vueling (Paris CDG), Ryanair (Krakow, Prague) and SAS (Catania, Florence, London Stansted) all providing further capacity to cities already served from CPH.

Turning white spots red

Despite having the best European market coverage of all the Nordic hubs, CPH is still hungry to fill the unserved route opportunities that still exist. Arguably, the UK and Ireland are best represented with several network white spots remaining despite increased coverage in S19. Newcastle (5,717), Glasgow (3,888), Belfast (1,862), Leeds Bradford (1,186), Shannon (360) and Cork (1,354) all exhibit good prospects for development.

Looking south east, CPH believes that there are new route openings in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Poland (Katowice –1,617). Further afield from Denmark are leisure-demand heavy cities like Bilbao (10,352), Verona (2,670), Toulouse (7,522) and Cagliari (876). Completing the list of unserved routes desired by the CPH team is Leipzig (1,739) which would become the eight destination served in Germany.

All data: one-way passengers. Source: MIDT 12 months to August 2019