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Copenhagen Airport

What’s behind Copenhagen Airport’s decline?

Fewer passengers are flying to Europe and flying transfer, but it’s not all bad news.

Traffic between Copenhagen and the rest of Europe is declining, which is offsetting the rising number of passengers flying long-haul and on winter-season charter flights.

The first month of the year brought a further year-on-year decrease in the overall passenger numbers at Copenhagen Airport, down 2.7%.

The airport is therefore looking ahead to the summer schedules that arrive at the end of March and reduced airport tariffs that come into effect from April 1, as this may reverse the negative month-by-month trends that started last year.

The price reductions will be significant for airlines that feed transit passengers from the rest of Denmark and Scandinavia – which has also been on a downward trend for CPH.

Accentuating the positives
The airport is pointing to the positives, such as Egypt making a comeback as one of the Danes’ preferred winter holiday destinations.

There were 4.5% more passengers on charter flights from Copenhagen overall, which the airport says is “largely explained by increased traffic to destinations in Egypt”.

“In recent months we’ve seen a trend for fewer people to use CPH to transfer, especially to European destinations. At the same time, there’s still a loss of passengers resulting from Air Berlin’s bankruptcy at the end of 2017,” says airport chief executive Thomas Woldbye.

“On the up side, we’re still seeing good growth in intercontinental flights to destinations outside Europe. This shows that our focus on attracting new routes to CPH is also bringing in more passengers.”

A new route to Delhi opened last year, and this year Cathay Pacific is opening a route to Hong Kong, Air China is launching to Beijing and Royal Jordanian is opening up Amman.

More declines
However, despite a large-scale advertising campaign for Danish domestic flights, domestic traffic declined 5.6% in January.

London is still the most flown-to destination from Copenhagen, with more than 163,000 passengers in January – but even this was 9.1% fewer than in the same month last year, which can be attributed to easyJet making fewer flights on the route.

With the disappearance of Air Berlin, the German capital has, for now, vanished from the top 10. Instead, Dubai has entered in 10th place.

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