In 2018, 1.1 billion passengers traveled by air in the European Union (EU), up by 6% compared with 2017. And Finland, with an increase of 10.6%, is among the countries where the number of air passengers grew well above the average.
According to the latest figures published by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), the number of air passengers in Europe has grown by 43% compared to 2010.
Eurostat, which does not assess the environmental consequences of this increase, explains how air passenger transport has steadily risen in the EU over this period.
In 2018, intra-EU transport represented almost half (46%) of total air passenger transport in the EU and extra-EU transport over a third (37%), while national transport accounted for fewer than 1 in every 5 passengers (16%).
The highest increases
In 2018, the largest number of air passengers was recorded in the United Kingdom (272 million passengers), followed by Germany (222 milion), Spain (221 million), France (162 million) and Italy (153 million). However, those were not the countries which recorded the largest increases.
The highest increases were registered in Lithuania (+19%), Latvia, Poland and Slovakia (all +16%), ahead of Estonia and Hungary (both +14%), Malta (+13%), Luxembourg (+12%) and Finland (+10.6%).
According to Eurostat, in Finland 22,174,000 passengers used the plane in 2018. Of them, 13,579,000 used intra-EU flights, 5,603,000 extra-EU transport and 2,992,000 were passengers in national flights.
Meanwhile, the lowest increase was registered in Sweden (+1%), followed by the United Kingdom (+3%), Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands (all +4%).
Overall in the EU, the number of air passengers rose by 62.8 million (+6%) between 2017 and 2018, driven by the rise in extra-EU (+9%) and intra-EU transport (+5%).
Top-10 passenger airports
London/Heathrow remained the EU’s busiest passenger airport in 2018, with 80 million passengers handled, slightly up (+3%) compared with 2017. Paris/Charles de Gaulle (72 million, +4%), Amsterdam/Schiphol (71 million, +4%), Frankfurt/Main (69 million, +8%) and Madrid/Barajas (56 milion, +9%) completed the top 5 of the busiest airports in the EU.
They were followed by Barcelona/El Prat (50 milion, +6%), München (46 million, +4%), London/Gatwick (46 million, +1%), Roma/Fiumicino (43 million, +5%) and Paris/Orly (33 million, +3%).
London/Heathrow also handled the most passengers on extra-EU transport (48 million) and Amsterdam/Schiphol (42 million) the most on intra-EU transport, while Madrid/Bajaras (16 million) led for national transport.