In the third quarter of 2023, air passenger traffic at one of the Netherlands’ major airports exceeded 21 million, an increase of over 11 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2022, according to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
Flights to and from the five major airports in the Netherlands, transporting paid passengers, mail, and goods, increased by over eight per cent to nearly 143,000.
Traditionally, the third quarter sees peak air passenger numbers, fuelled by school and construction holidays, excluding the pandemic-disrupted 2020.
August is, on average, the month of the year with the highest number of air passengers. This year, the busiest days of the year up to Q3 inclusive were Sunday, July 30 and Monday, August 7, when a total of over 246 thousand passengers per day passed through the terminals of the five major airports. The quietest day in Q3 was Wednesday, July 5, with a total of over 165 thousand passengers.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol played a central role, handling over 86 per cent of all flights in the Netherlands and accommodating a similar percentage of air passengers travelling to and from the Netherlands.
In the third quarter of 2023, it hosted 17.8 million passengers, reflecting an almost 14 per cent increase from the same period in 2022. Eindhoven Airport contributed significantly, with over two million passengers, representing nearly ten per cent of the total.
In contrast, the Hague and Maastricht Aachen airports experienced declines in flight operations and passengers compared to the previous year’s corresponding period.
Maastricht Aachen Airport faced challenges due to closure from May 8 to June 30 for runway renovation, leading airlines to redirect some flights to alternative airports.
In the third quarter of 2023, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol facilitated global air travel, with nearly 71 per cent within Europe, 16 per cent from and to the Americas, and almost nine per cent from and to Asia.
Conversely, Groningen Airport exclusively operated intra-European flights.
The remaining three airports primarily hosted intra-European flights, notably to popular holiday destinations in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey, along with select destinations in North Africa, such as Egypt and Morocco.
Throughout the pandemic, flights were predominantly intra-European, except for those involving Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Compared to the third quarter in 2022, air cargo volumes saw a nearly ten per cent decline, totalling nearly 348,000 tonnes. Amsterdam Airport Schipol handled over 98 per cent or nearly 341,000 tonnes, a decrease of almost five per cent from the previous quarter.
Maastricht Aachen Airport handled the residual air cargo, where volumes dropped by almost 76 per cent to nearly 7,000 tonnes compared to the third quarter of 2022.