Strong growth in Hamburg Airport's passenger numbers in October

Mid-term break triggers highest traffic volume since start of pandemic - more business travellers
09 November 2021
Hamburg Airport's Runway

Hamburg Airport notched up 953,000 passengers in the month of October over 1.06 million in the first half of 2021 and almost triple the 322,000 passengers in October 2020 owing to the pandemic, a press release said Thursday (November 4, 2021). However, passenger numbers have yet to reach the pre-pandemic level of 1.65 million passengers in October 2019.

Around 5.5 million passengers expected 

Many north Germans flew to popular sunny holiday destinations in Turkey, Spain and the Greek islands for the mid-term break in October and sending passenger numbers higher. Although the airport expects the upswing to weaken in November, figures will likely remain stable over levels in 2020. Around 5.5 million passengers are expected for the full year 2021 (2019: 17.31 million). The forecast had been revised downwards after the first months of the year.

More business travellers

"Passenger numbers were well below expectations in summer. The month of October has surprised us with a far higher traffic level than in summer," said Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport. However, it is still too early to speak of a turnaround. "But the positive signals are increasing, and business travellers are slowly returning." The return of Emirates A380, the world's largest passenger aircraft, to Hamburg underlines the rising demand.

Fluctuating load factors complicate planning

Operations at the airport have yet to normalize despite the glimmers of hope in 2021, Eggenschwiler added. Short-term bookings and the fluctuating load factor remain challenging, he said and noted: "For hours during the autumn holidays, we reached traffic peaks that exceeded levels in 2019. Then operations slowed for a while. Those conditions make the deployment of staff more difficult for all those involved in the system."