TREND IN TRAFFIC VOLUME
PASSENGER NUMBERS TOP 31 MILLION FOR THE FIRST TIME
In 2018, Zurich Airport set a new record of 31,113,488 passengers, exceeding the record set in the previous year by 5.8%. In comparison with major European airports, Zurich’s growth is therefore slightly above the average of 4.8% (source: ACI Airports Council International).
In 2018, the Zurich Airport catchment area again proved to be a stable and reliable market. Nevertheless, at 22.2 million, the 5.6% growth in the number of local passengers was slightly below overall passenger growth of 5.8%. On the other hand, the number of transfer passengers saw a slightly higher growth rate of 6.4%, taking it up to 8.8 million. The share of transfer passengers thus rose slightly from 28.3% in the previous year to 28.4% in the reporting period. The passenger volume in the scheduled and charter segment went up by 5.8% in 2018, while growing by 3.9% for general aviation.
Europe, Zurich Airport’s most important market, showed a below-average increase of 4.2%. Intercontinental traffic, on the other hand, experienced above-average growth of 11.2%. The biggest increase in demand was seen for flights to Latin America (+41.1%), followed by Africa (+27.1%), North America (+10.5%), the Middle East (+6.5%) and the Far East (+5.7%).
At 52.9%, in the year under review the passenger share of home carrier Swiss was up slightly from 52.3% in 2017. Edelweiss Air followed with a share of 7.6%, then easyJet with 3.3%, Eurowings with 2.8% and British Airways with 2.0%.
FLIGHT MOVEMENTS UP AND MARGINAL INCREASE IN CAPACITY UTILISATION
Flight movements totalled 278,458 in 2018, which represents growth of 3.0% compared with the previous year. While the number of scheduled and charter flight movements increased by 3.4%, general aviation contracted by 0.2%.
Owing to capacity expansion by Swiss, Edelweiss Air, easyJet and Germania, the seat capacity increased by 5.0% during the same period. The increase in seat capacity and growth in the number of passengers per flight movement, from 124 to 127, resulted in a 0.6% rise in the seat load factor during the reporting year to 77.9%.
MODERATE FREIGHT GROWTH
Freight volumes at Zurich Airport increased by 0.6% in 2018 over the 2017 level. A total of 493,222 tonnes of freight were transported during the year under review. While the volume of freight shipped by air was 1.8% higher, substitute air freight transported by road was down 2.8%.