The 16 airports in Romania have posted a 7.9 percent increase in passenger numbers last year up to 21.8 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 20.22 million in 2017 to 21.82 million in 2018.
International passenger traffic rose by 8.6 percent last year, to 18.98 million, and the number of passengers carried with domestic flights increased by 3.3 percent, to 2.84 million, official data show.
Romania’s biggest airport, Henri Coandă International Airport (Otopeni), controlled by the state-owned Aeroporturi București company (CNAB), posted an increase of its total passenger traffic by 7.9 percent last year to an all-time high of 13.82 million.
The second airport in Romania by passenger traffic is Cluj Napoca International Airport, with 2.78 million passengers in 2018 (+3.9 percent compared to 2017), followed by Timișoara International Airport (1.52 million, -6.4 percent) and Iași International Airport (1.25 million, +9.4 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.