by Mark Albert
AMSTERDAM (TVR) – Air traffic at Europe’s airports surged in the first half of 2017, including to Iceland, up a strong nine percent despite recent terror attacks, as well as political and economic uncertainty in some parts of the globe.
ACI EUROPE, a European airport trade body, said in its most recent air travel report that the “impressive growth” in passenger trips was due in part to terrorism-affected countries “bouncing back,” as well as strong demand in Russia and Turkey, along with oil prices that remain under $55 a barrel, leading to stable jet fuel prices.
“For Europe’s airports, this is by far the best first half-year traffic performance in more than 10 years,” said Oliver Jankovec, ACI EUROPE’s director general.
Jankovec noted the solid increase builds on recent momentum.
“Passenger volumes have expanded by close to 30% since 2012. This kind of growth has clearly outstripped the most optimistic forecasts – something that should be borne in mind by anyone who doubts the looming airport capacity crunch facing Europe.”
The report included network, low cost, and charter flights.
Iceland Visits Soar
Travelers from the U.S. are especially enchanted with Iceland this year.
The number of people flying roundtrip to the island nation from America has skyrocketed 42% so far this year compared to last year, according to Airlines Reporting Corp, which analyzed booking data from more than 12,000 U.S. retail and corporate travel agencies.
The cascade of Iceland visits is being fueled, in part, by low airfares and increased options from low cost carriers (LCCs).
Airfares to Iceland are down approximately 10% from the U.S. this year, with the average roundtrip costing $800 in 2017.
Tickets can often be even cheaper with Iceland included as a stop over to another country.
The top destination during Iceland visits was the Blue Lagoon thermal pools and spa, outside of Reykjavik, the capital.