Warsaw's Chopin Airport is the countries busiest airport with 17,7 million passengers served in 2018. The Katowice-Pyrzowice Airport comes in on second place with 950 000, passengers, an year on year increase of 24%, followed by neighbouring Kraków Balice airport which saw a 16% increase to 930 000 passengers.
Poznań-Ławica saw the largest increase, as 633 000 passengers means a 34% increase compared to 2017.
The title of the biggest carrier operating in Poland belongs to Ryanair with 11,6 million passengers but LOT Polish Airlines has managed to shrink the gap to just about 1 million passengers thanks to a 24% growth of passengers in 2018. Third place belongs to the Hungarian air carries Wizz Air with 8,7 mln passengers.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority’s president Piotr Samson, air traffic grows faster than expected: "The main driving force behind such a dynamic growth in air traffic is that Poland is catching up with Western European countries. Despite the fact that Poles are still flying less frequently than a statistical European, the Polish aviation market is seeing better results year by year.However, the faster than expected growth could lead to capacity problems and bottlenecks in the future.
The growing number of passengers adds a sense of urgency to the government's plan of building the so-called Central Communication Port. Located strategically between Warsaw and Łódźin central Poland, the megaproject scheduled to be operational by 2027 will be a combination of a large capacity airport, high-speed rail hub located by the intersection of two of Poland's busiest highways (A1 and A2). The central location combined with the massive infrastructure projects will guarantee a high level of accessibility for passengers as well as cargo. According to some experts, the new airport will allow Poland to compete with other mega transport hubs such as Istanbul in Turkey and Dubai in the UAE. The Central Communication Port is an opportunity for LOT Polish Airlines capture additional market shares and become a global player on the long-haul as well the connecting flight market.
The CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, Rafał Milczarski, stated at a recent IATA press conference that “Passengers from Central and Eastern Europe will continue to fly more. Not only in Europe, but globally. And global travel can happen via hubs. I am delighted to see that the Polish Government has approved the construction of a new aviation hub in Warsaw”
He went on to add: “For the past 3 years, LOT has been the fastest growing airline in Europe, increasing by 30% a year. In 2015, we carried 4.3 million passengers, in 2018 we reached 8.9 million passengers. And we won’t stop here as we aim to reach 10 million passengers in 2019!”
LOT Polish Airlines has been growing quickly in recent years but it seems as it's only in the starting phase of expansion as the Central Communication Port will offer the company opportunities never seen before.
Author: Adam Starzynski
Source: Poland Daily