The 16 airports in Romania have posted a 7.8 percent increase in passenger numbers in the first nine months of this year, to 16.62 million, an all-time high due to international flights, while domestic passenger traffic slightly increased, according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
Total passenger numbers on the Romanian airports have increased from 15.41 million in January-September 2017 to 16.62 million in the first nine months of 2018.
International passenger traffic rose by 8.6 percent year-on-year, to 14.52 million, and the number of passengers carried with domestic flights increased by 2.7 percent, to 2.1 million, official data show.
Romania’s biggest airport, Henri Coandă International Airport (Otopeni), controlled by the state-owned National Company Aeroporturi București, posted an increase of its total passenger traffic by 7.5 percent in the first nine months of this year to a record-high 10.49 million.
The second airport in Romania by passenger traffic is Cluj Napoca International Airport, with 2.06 million passengers in January-September 2018 (+4.9 percent year-on-year), followed by Timișoara International Airport (1.16 million, -5.8 percent) and Iași International Airport (931,575, +7.1 percent).
In 2017, Romanian airports have posted a 23.3 percent increase in passenger numbers, to 20.2 million, a all-time high due to both international and domestic flights.
Airport passenger numbers have soared in Romania in the last few years due to income rise, cheap flights offered by low-cost companies and poor infrastructure across the country.
In the last couple of years, low-cost companies like Wizz Air, Blueair and Ryanair entered domestic flights market in Romania, controlled for years by the state-owned Tarom, trying to benefit from rising appetite for flights between the large urban areas.
But lack of investments in expanding airports capacity is already affecting passenger’s comfort, especially in Henri Coandă International Airport.