Growth in air passenger traffic at CEE airports 2019

The most significant increase in passenger traffic at airports in the Central and Eastern European region was recorded in Ukraine, with a 20 percent increase. Growth in the other countries in the region was stable at 5 to 10 percent, except for Bulgaria which recorded a three-percent decline in the first half of 2019.

Major airlines in the CEE region

      The CEE region also does not have the leading traditional airlines on the European market. For years Lufthansa has been the European leader. Although, in terms of passengers carried, the leader is the Irish budget airline Ryanair. However, the CEE region was dominated by low-cost Hungarian WizzAir and Polish traditional carrier LOT in 2019. These two airlines are the leading registered operators in the CEE region, offering the highest number of seats per week in terms of supply. The hub for LOT Polish Airlines is Warsaw Fryderyk Chopin Airport. However, due to the airport's limited capacity, LOT has created a second hub at Budapest airport. The carrier offers long-haul European and transcontinental flights with the possibility of a stopover. A key development point for the Central and Eastern European aviation market will be the planned construction of the Solidarity Transport Hub (Centralny Port Komunikacyjny) near Warsaw. In the opinion of many experts, this investment is a market necessity, forced by the dynamically growing air traffic and demand in the CEE region.

Air passenger transport in the CEE region

      The largest airports in Central and Eastern Europe are in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, and Kyiv. The largest airport in the CEE region is Warsaw airport. In 2019 nearly 19 million passengers were served at Chopin Airport in Poland. In the first half of 2019, the airport in Kyiv developed most dynamically, with a 20 percent increase in passenger traffic. Further growth of passenger traffic on the air market in Central and Eastern Europe was halted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic's outbreak in 2020. During this period, the demand for international and local flights was practically non-existent. It will take many years for carriers and airports to rebuild their market position before the pandemic.

Growth in air passenger traffic at Central and Eastern Europe airports in the 1st half of 2019

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

H1 2019

Supplementary notes

The report is based on data from OAG Schedule Analyser, airports, civil aviation authorities and Anker Report.

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Statistics on "Air transportation in Poland"

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