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lightmac
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How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:51 pm

In Western Europe do the second and third biggest cities of a country also have the second and third biggest airports? Typically, the capital is the main airline’s hub. One factor is proximity of secondary cities to the main hub(s) and tourism.
In countries such as Switzerland and Norway the second cities have the second-biggest airports (Bergen and Geneva) and the third biggest cities have the third biggest airports (Basel and Trondheim). The same is true for Sweden with Gothenburg and Malmö.
Here are the exceptions:
Second and third biggest cities Second and third biggest cities (outside of capital/main hubs)
In France: Marseille and Lyon Nice and Lyon have the biggest airports outside of Paris
In Spain: Barcelona and Valencia Barcelona and Palma
In Britain: Birmingham, Manchester Manchester and Edinburgh (B'ham is too close to London)
In NL: Rotterdam, The Hague Eindhoven and Rotterdam/The Hague (second and third cities share an airport)
In Belgium: Antwerp and Ghent Ostend and Antwerp
In Italy: Milan, Naples Milan/Bergamo airports (third city Naples is economically weak)
In Greece: Thessaloniki, Patras Heraklion, Thessalonki
In Portugal: Porto, Amadora Porto, Faro
In Finland: Espoo, Tampere Oulu and Rovaniemi (second city Espoo does not have an airport, distant cities depend on air traffic)
In Denmark: Aarhus, Odense Billund and Aalborg (Billund is bigger airport with no bigger town nearby)
In Austria: Graz, Linz Salzburg and Innsbruck (Graz is close to Vienna)
In Ireland: Cork, Galway Cork, Shannon (what is the reason here?)
Luxembourg and Iceland (one-hub)
The odd one out is Germany, where the two biggest cities (Berlin and Hamburg) get totally ignored by the main airline.
Reasons: Touristic appeal of Nice and Palma in the cases of France and Spain.
 
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AmricanShamrok
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:59 pm

lightmac wrote:
In Ireland: Cork, Galway Cork, Shannon (what is the reason here?)

SNN serves Limerick (3rd city) and Galway (4th city) as well as large parts of the mid-west, southwest and midlands of Ireland. Shannon itself is a relatively small town built originally to house the airport workers.
 
tomcat
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:17 pm

The second biggest Belgian airport is Charleroi airport.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:34 pm

lightmac wrote:
The odd one out is Germany, where the two biggest cities (Berlin and Hamburg) get totally ignored by the main airline.


Throw in DUS/CGN as well, with Rhine-Ruhr being the largest metropolitan area in Germany that's totally ignored by LH.

HAM catchment is relatively small compare to FRA or even MUC, though, as Hamburg Metro Area is basically Hamburg City itself and nothing else.

Since you're in Europe, throw in Russia as well.
Largest Cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk or Yekaterinburg (They're very similar in size and much smaller than the "Big 2").
Busiest Airports: SVO/DME/VKO (I'll just group them together), LED, AER. Sochi, of course, is a very popular resort city for Russians. SVX and OVB are right after that, though.
 
boerje
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:02 pm

In Finland HEL is actually located in the 4th largest city (Vantaa).

HEM is located in Helsinki.
 
avfiol
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:20 pm

boerje wrote:
In Finland HEL is actually located in the 4th largest city (Vantaa).
HEM is located in Helsinki.


True, but the OP makes the mistake of not understanding the capital region in Finland, which is Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Helsinki, and which is all purposes is one large area, plus the nearby towns of Kerava, Tuusula, etc etc.

Tampere and Turku have good rail connections to the capital region and most of the other traffic is feeder traffic to Helsinki-Vantaa, though Oulu is basically an hourly service with Finnair and I've always wondered if it could support more longer distance traffic deeper into Europe?

Ian
 
mjoelnir
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:32 pm

lightmac wrote:
In Western Europe do the second and third biggest cities of a country also have the second and third biggest airports? Typically, the capital is the main airline’s hub. One factor is proximity of secondary cities to the main hub(s) and tourism.
In countries such as Switzerland and Norway the second cities have the second-biggest airports (Bergen and Geneva) and the third biggest cities have the third biggest airports (Basel and Trondheim). The same is true for Sweden with Gothenburg and Malmö.
Here are the exceptions:
Second and third biggest cities Second and third biggest cities (outside of capital/main hubs)
In France: Marseille and Lyon Nice and Lyon have the biggest airports outside of Paris
In Spain: Barcelona and Valencia Barcelona and Palma
In Britain: Birmingham, Manchester Manchester and Edinburgh (B'ham is too close to London)
In NL: Rotterdam, The Hague Eindhoven and Rotterdam/The Hague (second and third cities share an airport)
In Belgium: Antwerp and Ghent Ostend and Antwerp
In Italy: Milan, Naples Milan/Bergamo airports (third city Naples is economically weak)
In Greece: Thessaloniki, Patras Heraklion, Thessalonki
In Portugal: Porto, Amadora Porto, Faro
In Finland: Espoo, Tampere Oulu and Rovaniemi (second city Espoo does not have an airport, distant cities depend on air traffic)
In Denmark: Aarhus, Odense Billund and Aalborg (Billund is bigger airport with no bigger town nearby)
In Austria: Graz, Linz Salzburg and Innsbruck (Graz is close to Vienna)
In Ireland: Cork, Galway Cork, Shannon (what is the reason here?)
Luxembourg and Iceland (one-hub)
The odd one out is Germany, where the two biggest cities (Berlin and Hamburg) get totally ignored by the main airline.
Reasons: Touristic appeal of Nice and Palma in the cases of France and Spain.


The list is a bit strange. If anything, that list does not support your statement.

The Netherlands have just one big airport, the rest is not even secondary airports.
The UK has the biggest LHR and the second biggest LGW near London. The third biggest is MAN and #4 and #5 again London airports STN and LTN.
In France the biggest and second biggest are in Paris CDG and ORY.
Brussels has the two biggest airports in Belgium.
In Denmark everything but CPH is regional apart from Billund, being in the middle of the country in that village with 6,000+ inhabitants..

I could go on, but I suspect, that Europe is not the place to find a neat row matching the second biggest airport to the second biggest city.
There are centralized countries, like the UK and France, where everything that is big is in the main cities, London and Paris respectively.
And you have decentralized countries like Germany, where you will find difficulties to match airports to the size of the city they are in.

You have furthermore a lot of smaller European countries with one international hub and the rest being strictly regional.
 
pdp
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:32 pm

Birmingham is relatively close (two hours) to London, however for intercontinental travel it also has to serve the entire East Midlands, West Midlands, Lincolnshire etc.

It's got a very large area under which it's the nearest "big" airport!
 
lightmac
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:01 pm

Well, that is the point: For the Netherlands for example: Eindhoven has six million passengers (2nd place nationally) despite the fast that is not one of the top three cities.
 
lightmac
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:03 pm

In the case of Spain: Valencia (while nice) is not suuuuch a tourist destination, so even though it is the third city, it is not the third biggest airport.
 
tomcat
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Fri Dec 27, 2019 9:10 pm

lightmac wrote:
Well, that is the point: For the Netherlands for example: Eindhoven has six million passengers (2nd place nationally) despite the fast that is not one of the top three cities.


Given the amount of exceptions you are listing, it appears that these exceptions are the standard rather than the exceptions or that there is not standard at all. But thank you for taking the time of providing this overview of the airport sizes in relation with the size of the city they serve.
 
BlueLineORD
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:04 am

lightmac wrote:
One factor is proximity of secondary cities to the main hub(s) and tourism.


In addition to population, tourism, and proximity to a major hub (both in terms of pure distance and geographic considerations like terrain) I'll throw in wealth/economics as a key driver of air service, or what you call airport size. In the airline industry, network planners know that GDP per capita is a key driver of demand for air travel, with more productive areas demanding more seats for business travel and producing disposable income that contributes to leisure travel, but here's a quick overview from CAPA.

Let's take a deeper look at Greece, an example you cited. Per Wikipedia (not a perfect source, but adequate for high-level analysis) these are the largest ten airports in the country (plus Patras, your example) by annual passenger count, along with population of metro area (or island, for single-airport islands), and 2017 GDP per capita for the administrative region:
1. Athens (ATH) - 24M annual pax - 3.8M metro population - €30K GDP per capita
2. Heraklion (HER) - 8.1M pax - 174K metro pop / 633K island pop - €18K
3. Thessaloniki (SKG) - 6.7M pax - 1M metro pop - €18K
4. Rhodes (RHO) - 5.6M pax - 116K island pop - €27K
5. Corfu (CFU) - 3.4M pax - 102K island pop - €20K
6. Chania (CHQ) - 3M pax - 109K metro pop - €18K
7. Kos (KGS) - 2.7M pax - 33K island pop - €27K
8. Santorini (JTR) - 2.3M pax - 16K island pop - €27K
9. Zakynthos (ZTH) - 1.8M pax - 41K island pop - €20K
10. Mykonos (JMK) - 1.4M pax - 10K island pop - €27K
...
22. Patras Araxos (GPA) - 190K pax - 214K metro pop - €16K

ATH serves the Athens metro, a global city with economic, political, and cultural importance in the Mediterranean and Southern Europe. It is home to the Greek flag carrier and Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines (A3) and also a large base for RyanAir. Of Greece's ten most populous metros, only Athens (#1), Thessaloniki (#2), and Heraklion (#5) also appear on the Top-10 largest airports above, with Chalcis (#9) and Serres (#10) within a reasonable (~1hr) drive of ATH and SKG respectively.

Patras, which you noted is third-largest Greek metro by population, is served seasonally with just 20-25 weekly flights between May and October. Patras sits in the Western Greece region, which has a population of 680K and a GDP of €10.7B It is not particularly noted for tourism, and at 2.5hr by road from Athens/ATH, ist far enough to justify flights targeting Patras-originating traffic when competitive carriers and extensive routes are available from ATH. Compare this to Heraklion, which together with Chania CHQ serves the island of Crete. Crete's population of 621K is smaller than Western Greece and its GDP of €11.2B is larger, for a GDP per capita advantage of 29%. Crete is a ~10hr ferry from Athens and a popular tourist destination due to its nice beaches and seaside towns. Looking at the overall picture, it's not difficult to see why HER punches above its weight for air service while GPA lags.

One final note - when looking at population and economic data, it's important to use metro area or regional/province as opposed to just a city because airports serve larger catchment areas than their city limits, and excluding suburbs can skew your population/economic data. To use a United States example, Philadelphia and Atlanta have roughly the same metro population (~6M) but Philadelphia city is three times larger than Atlanta city, 1.6M vs 500K. Looking just at cities, Jacksonville city (900K) would appear to be almost double the size of Atlanta, but the JAX metro area is just 1.6M people, one-quarter the population of either the ATL or PHL metro.
 
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:56 am

lightmac wrote:
In countries such as Switzerland and Norway the second cities have the second-biggest airports (Bergen and Geneva) and the third biggest cities have the third biggest airports (Basel and Trondheim). The same is true for Sweden with Gothenburg and Malmö.


Actually no, Gothenburg has the 2nd largest airport but Malmö Airport is the 5th largest airport in Sweden in terms of passengers.

lightmac wrote:
Reasons: Touristic appeal of Nice and Palma in the cases of France and Spain.


And the fact that the larger cities are well connected to Paris and Madrid by high speed trains.
 
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:54 am

Of course this thread also makes the classic mistake of using cities, when that has almost no correlation to an airport's catchment/reach/size at all.

Metro area would be far more realistic, and CSA (or any number of international equivalents outside the west) would be even better.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
lightmac
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:34 am

Great analysis and link, thank you!
 
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Lingon
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:50 am

The obvious answer is that there is only a partial synch between city size and airport size. Consider the following three factors:
a) Catchment area - how many people served by the airport is much more important than size of the city
b) Competing airports nearby or in the same city
c) Connecting traffic - if an airport has a great connectivity there will be much more traffic than motivated by the number of people living there

For Malmö in Sweden, 3rd city with 5th airport you have CPH closer than ARN is to Stockholm.
Frankfurt and Munich are big hubs, so the airports are big.

And as already mentioned, strong tourism and good high-speed rail connections are two other factors which heavily affects the passenger count. If I were travelling between Berlin and Hamburg, I would go by train. Likewise if I travelled Paris-Lyon. Or Amsterdam-Brussels.

Also, lack of land transportation would make the demand for flying bigger. I guess most people travelling to the Balearic Islands from mainland Europe would prefer a plane over a boat, which contributes to Palma's airport being relatively bigger than you would expect from the city size alone.

Low cost carriers like Ryanair like to use far away airports to reduce costs. Thus for example Nyköping in Sweden has a much much bigger airport than you would expect from a city with some 50-60 thousand inhabitants.
 
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:26 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Of course this thread also makes the classic mistake of using cities, when that has almost no correlation to an airport's catchment/reach/size at all.

Metro area would be far more realistic, and CSA (or any number of international equivalents outside the west) would be even better.


Beyond that failing, the OP doesn't distinguish between O&D and connecting traffic.
 
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:57 pm

As For Bll the second biggest airport in Denmark is placed in short distance of Esbjerg 5th largest city, Kolding 7th largest, Horsens 8th Vejle 9th, Fredericia 16th
On top of that is Odense 3rd in a short distance too, and Odense has a tiny airport with almost no traffic.
BLL serves the island of Fyn and most part of middle and southern Jylland.

From my home it's about 1,5 hours to BLL and 1h45m to CPH but to go to CPH you need pay for pass Storebælt so I choose BLL for most flight.
Sadly non of the ME3 fly there yet, so leaves me with KLM if I fly east as I simply not like LH and doesn't fly TK
 
mjoelnir
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:21 pm

Germany would be an outlier,
- if you compare city size, Berlin #1, Hamburg #2, München #3, Köln #4 and than first Frankfurt #5
- if you compare metro size,
#1 Rhein Ruhr with the airports CGN, DUS and DTM.
#2 Berlin Brandenburg with TXL and SXF
#3 München with MUC
#4 Rhein Main with FRA
#5 Stuttgart with STR
#6 Hamburg with HAM

One has to include that #3, #4, #5 and #6 are very near to each other in size.

If you sort according to GDP
#1 Hamburg
#2,3,4,5 Frankfurt, München, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Köln, Dortmund (and a few more smaller cities)
#6 Berlin lowest GDP of all big cities in Germany, but growing fast.

I would point out, that you do not find a system to sort why FRA is the biggest and MUC the second biggest airport in Germany.

Rhein Ruhr is the far biggest Metropolitan area in Germany. There are airports there. DUS #3, CGN #5, DTM #13 and NRN #15. Furthermore it is not far to AMS, BRU or FRA.

My guess would be the existence of the main USA air force station with big runways and lots of space for expansion moved Lufthansa to Frankfurt. There were and are plenty of other airports competing in that area. But Lufthansa having chosen Frankfurt made the main contribution to the growth of FRA.

München is the only logical current big airport. Big metropolitan area #3. High GDP. Big City #3. And no bigger airport near to steal the traffic.

In due time, when BER will open, it will move up the list very fast and than city or metro size will better correspond to airport size.

They strange opt out will be Hamburg. Second biggest city, sixth biggest metro (only slightly smaller than München), highest GDP and far away from competing airports. I think only a new airline makinging its mark there will do the trick.
 
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:12 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
HAM catchment is relatively small compare to FRA or even MUC, though, as Hamburg Metro Area is basically Hamburg City itself and nothing else.


HAMs catchment area is 6 million people within 90 minutes by car, even 10 million within 120 minutes by car and there is almost no overlap of the catchment area with other big Airports or even Hubs.
The official population of the metropolitan Region Hamburg (which is not the catchment of an Airport) is around 5,3 million, which is far from "only Hamburg city itself and nothig else". By the way the catchment area of Munich is close to 6 million, which is not much more.
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SCQ83
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:20 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
They strange opt out will be Hamburg. Second biggest city, sixth biggest metro (only slightly smaller than München), highest GDP and far away from competing airports. I think only a new airline makinging its mark there will do the trick.


Airports (specially major hubs) do not serve metro areas but regions.

I bet that in a radius of 200-300 km. Munich (Bayern) has way more population than Hamburg. For cities like Ulm, Augsburg, Ingolstadt or Regensburg, MUC is very likely their reference airport, specially for long-haul flights.

An extreme example of regional catchment in Europe nowadays is Madrid due to the demographic and geographic configuration of Spain and the high-speed network. Today MAD is the reference airport for pretty much every other city except the coast. Cities as far as Córdoba (almost 400 km. by car), Valladolid, Burgos, Zaragoza, León or Badajoz rely mostly on MAD for any kind of air travel.

With more high-speed trains built all over Europe, more secondary airports will be redundant moving more passengers towards big hubs which become more competitive (more demand = more offer = more flights).
 
mjoelnir
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:51 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
They strange opt out will be Hamburg. Second biggest city, sixth biggest metro (only slightly smaller than München), highest GDP and far away from competing airports. I think only a new airline makinging its mark there will do the trick.


Airports (specially major hubs) do not serve metro areas but regions.

I bet that in a radius of 200-300 km. Munich (Bayern) has way more population than Hamburg. For cities like Ulm, Augsburg, Ingolstadt or Regensburg, MUC is very likely their reference airport, specially for long-haul flights.

An extreme example of regional catchment in Europe nowadays is Madrid due to the demographic and geographic configuration of Spain and the high-speed network. Today MAD is the reference airport for pretty much every other city except the coast. Cities as far as Córdoba (almost 400 km. by car), Valladolid, Burgos, Zaragoza, León or Badajoz rely mostly on MAD for any kind of air travel.

With more high-speed trains built all over Europe, more secondary airports will be redundant moving more passengers towards big hubs which become more competitive (more demand = more offer = more flights).


The radius you are describing, 200 to 300 km is outside the München metro area and includes the catchment area of other airports. Augsburg, Ingolstadt and Regensburg are all inside the München metro area, without making it significantly bigger than the Hamburg metro area. For Ulm it would be the question if it would rather fit with the Stuttgart catchment area.
The size of the population of the Hamburg metro area starts out with Hamburg being significantly bigger than München.
Cities in the Hamburg metropolitan area include, Lübeck, Schwerin, Neumünster, Norderstedt, Lüneburg, Cuxhafen, Elmshorn, Stade, Wismar, Pinneberg, Seevetal, Buxtehude, Buchholz, Uelzen, Winsen, Wedel, Ahrensburg, Itzehoe, Gesthach, Reinbeck. That is inside the official metropolitan area with 5 million inhabitants. But to look at the catchment area, we have to go a little further. Their is Kiel, Flensburg, Schleswig, Eckernförde, Husum to the north, Bremen and Bremerhaven to the west and we should add Rostock to the east.
So I put to you that the real catchment area for Hamburg has actually more inhabitants than the catchment area for München.
What are the competition airports for Hamburg. To the north Billund and Copenhagen. To the east Berlin. To the south Hannover and to the west Bremen.
Copenhagen is a hub, but you need to catch a ferry on the way. Berlin is getting there and Billund and Bremen are regional or airports to catch a tourist flight into the sun. Hannover is a serious airport, but still less international orientated than Hamburg.
When you look at competing airports to MUC, you get Stuttgart and Zürich, but also Fridrichshafen, Nürnberg, Salzburg those three being strictly regional, but you can not count their catchment area fully to MUC.

When I look at HAM now, I see increased international connections, two flights to Dubai, one 777 and one A380 a day, giving you one stop connections to a big part of the world, more than I expected. The main hole is transatlantic, to North America. But you can of course do a one stop through KEF.
I also see that the bigger presence of RyanAir, has moved Eurowings to greatly expanded their offerings.
 
SCQ83
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:08 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
When you look at competing airports to MUC, you get Stuttgart and Zürich, but also Fridrichshafen, Nürnberg, Salzburg those three being strictly regional, but you can not count their catchment area fully to MUC.

When I look at HAM now, I see increased international connections, two flights to Dubai, one 777 and one A380 a day, giving you one stop connections to a big part of the world, more than I expected. The main hole is transatlantic, to North America. But you can of course do a one stop through KEF.
I also see that the bigger presence of RyanAir, has moved Eurowings to greatly expanded their offerings.


HAM today offers fewer options than Berlin (both airports combined) or Copenhagen. Both for low-cost P2P flights and for long-haul services.

MUC is the other way around. STR or NUE are way smaller airports than MUC.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:52 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
When you look at competing airports to MUC, you get Stuttgart and Zürich, but also Fridrichshafen, Nürnberg, Salzburg those three being strictly regional, but you can not count their catchment area fully to MUC.

When I look at HAM now, I see increased international connections, two flights to Dubai, one 777 and one A380 a day, giving you one stop connections to a big part of the world, more than I expected. The main hole is transatlantic, to North America. But you can of course do a one stop through KEF.
I also see that the bigger presence of RyanAir, has moved Eurowings to greatly expanded their offerings.


HAM today offers fewer options than Berlin (both airports combined) or Copenhagen. Both for low-cost P2P flights and for long-haul services.

MUC is the other way around. STR or NUE are way smaller airports than MUC.


Of course offers MUC more flights than STR or NUE. I never said that they did not. You seem to have completely missed my point. And I did not talk about STR and NUE only, but also about ZRH and SZG.
ZRH is a real hub and about as far away from München than, HAM is from Berlin. CPH is more than 4 hours by car away from Hamburg.

My point was about the catchment area of HAM. If we leave the metro definition and look at the areas without a serious alternative, than we have Hamburg 1.9 million, all of Schleswig Holstein 2.9 mil, half of Mecklenburg Vorpommern 0.8 mil and at least a quarter of Niedersachsen 2 mil. That adds up to 7.6 million potential. and we have not looked at Bremen or Bremerhaven. All those areas are within a 2 hours drive from HAM. The only competition in this area are BRE and HAJ. The hubs at Berlin and CPH take longer to reach.
What I declare is, that the size and possibility of international connections of HAM, does not match the catchment area, GDP of the population and the fact that big airports are longer away, than from comparable airports.

edit: I like to point out, that when an airline offers long haul flight from HAM it seems to work. Emirates started out with one 777-300ER a day from HAM. Now they fly one daily A380 and as the second flight a daily 777-300ER. Both are 3 class frames and offer daily together about 850 seats.
CPH gets one daily 2 class 615 seats A380. So I expect HAM to be more adjusted to business passengers.
I of course do not expect LH or their JV partners or even any Star Alliance airline to disturb the status quo.
 
SCQ83
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:21 am

mjoelnir wrote:
Of course offers MUC more flights than STR or NUE. I never said that they did not. You seem to have completely missed my point. And I did not talk about STR and NUE only, but also about ZRH and SZG.
ZRH is a real hub and about as far away from München than, HAM is from Berlin. CPH is more than 4 hours by car away from Hamburg.

My point was about the catchment area of HAM. If we leave the metro definition and look at the areas without a serious alternative, than we have Hamburg 1.9 million, all of Schleswig Holstein 2.9 mil, half of Mecklenburg Vorpommern 0.8 mil and at least a quarter of Niedersachsen 2 mil. That adds up to 7.6 million potential. and we have not looked at Bremen or Bremerhaven. All those areas are within a 2 hours drive from HAM. The only competition in this area are BRE and HAJ. The hubs at Berlin and CPH take longer to reach.
What I declare is, that the size and possibility of international connections of HAM, does not match the catchment area, GDP of the population and the fact that big airports are longer away, than from comparable airports..


My point is that catchment areas are not divided by a line.

For some German cities, MUC might be slighter further away than STR, but those passengers will be drawn to MUC because of better train/bus connections (bigger city and airport), more non-stop services and better prices (more competition). MUC has only to compete with ZRH. I suspect that Zürich being in Switzerland will drive away some passengers because of some costs (e.g. how much is a 1-week parking in ZRH VS MUC?)

HAM today clashes with Berlin and CPH which are more competitive and southwards with DUS/CGN. Hamburg does not offer anything that those airports do not offer. Few low cost options (easyJet and Ryanair have closed their bases) and few long haul services (only ME3). So it is not surprising that someone who lives midway from HAM and Berlin/CPH/DUS, those passengers prefer the second airport instead of HAM.

You seem to miss that key point in your analysis of “x million people live 120 min away by car from HAM”
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:53 am

mjoelnir wrote:
Germany would be an outlier,
- if you compare city size, Berlin #1, Hamburg #2, München #3, Köln #4 and than first Frankfurt #5
- if you compare metro size,
#1 Rhein Ruhr with the airports CGN, DUS and DTM.
#2 Berlin Brandenburg with TXL and SXF
#3 München with MUC
#4 Rhein Main with FRA
#5 Stuttgart with STR
#6 Hamburg with HAM

One has to include that #3, #4, #5 and #6 are very near to each other in size.


Frankfurt plus Rhein-Main region and Munich were in the American Zone;
Dusseldorf, Cologne, Dortmund, Hamburg were in the British Zone,
Stuttgart was in the French Zone,
Berlin was surrounded by the Russian Zone.

Although the Allied Occupation ended in 1955 (except for Russian influence in former zone) the Allied powers had a huge influence on the major airports.
 
armadillomaster
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:07 am

In the UK a special mention to Leeds/Bradford. Although Leeds is nowhere near the top 3 cities in terms of size, the airport covers West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire but in comparison to those areas the airport is small.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:14 am

SCQ83 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
Of course offers MUC more flights than STR or NUE. I never said that they did not. You seem to have completely missed my point. And I did not talk about STR and NUE only, but also about ZRH and SZG.
ZRH is a real hub and about as far away from München than, HAM is from Berlin. CPH is more than 4 hours by car away from Hamburg.

My point was about the catchment area of HAM. If we leave the metro definition and look at the areas without a serious alternative, than we have Hamburg 1.9 million, all of Schleswig Holstein 2.9 mil, half of Mecklenburg Vorpommern 0.8 mil and at least a quarter of Niedersachsen 2 mil. That adds up to 7.6 million potential. and we have not looked at Bremen or Bremerhaven. All those areas are within a 2 hours drive from HAM. The only competition in this area are BRE and HAJ. The hubs at Berlin and CPH take longer to reach.
What I declare is, that the size and possibility of international connections of HAM, does not match the catchment area, GDP of the population and the fact that big airports are longer away, than from comparable airports..


My point is that catchment areas are not divided by a line.

For some German cities, MUC might be slighter further away than STR, but those passengers will be drawn to MUC because of better train/bus connections (bigger city and airport), more non-stop services and better prices (more competition). MUC has only to compete with ZRH. I suspect that Zürich being in Switzerland will drive away some passengers because of some costs (e.g. how much is a 1-week parking in ZRH VS MUC?)

HAM today clashes with Berlin and CPH which are more competitive and southwards with DUS/CGN. Hamburg does not offer anything that those airports do not offer. Few low cost options (easyJet and Ryanair have closed their bases) and few long haul services (only ME3). So it is not surprising that someone who lives midway from HAM and Berlin/CPH/DUS, those passengers prefer the second airport instead of HAM.

You seem to miss that key point in your analysis of “x million people live 120 min away by car from HAM”


No you do not have to draw a line, but you still have a long distances from Hamburg to both Berlin and CPH, CPH especially if you count time not distance. You have four daily flights with SAS from HAM to CPH. So a lot of people take the flight to CPH, rather than drive.
EasyJet flies to 6 destinations from Hamburg (9 in summer) and RyanAir to 10 (summer 13). Yes RyanAir did cut 6 European destinations. But Norwegian 2, Wizz 1, Eurowing 5, Air Baltic 2, Albawings 1, Alitalia 1, Condor 1, Lauda 1, Sun Express 1 and Tui 1 are all adding.
Anyway, there are enough European or near Europe connections. Long haul is missing and there are easyJet and RyanAir no help.

When you look at ZRH, it is comfortable to reach being at the motorway and has a railway station. With good railway and motorway connection to southern Germany. Go from outside Berlin to TXL.

On the other side, you are hardly near HAM and drive to DUS 4 hours or CGN 4 hours 15 minutes. Have you been on the motorway in the Ruhr area recently?
The point is exactly that other main airports are far away from HAM. It takes less time to drive between FRA and MUC.

Last not least, there are living more people in the catchment area of HAM, than in Norway, Finland or Denmark, still there are OSL, CPH, ARN and HEL not much bigger than HAM, but all offering long haul connections.

The point is everybody tries to explain the situation of HAM rationally and declares that there must be a rational reason. Whereas I believe, that simply the decision by Lufthansa to serve HAM through MUC and FRA and the organization of alliances and JVs explain the situation of missing longhaul connections in HAM.
 
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OA940
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:00 pm

Honestly it's way too complicated to put in a thread. The Greece example someone above used is great to show just how complex this question is. You'd have to factor in except for the pure population of the city the airport serves everything from catchment area and tourism to income.
A350/CSeries = bae
 
FlyingSicilian
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:34 pm

Demand is not just based on GDP per capita.

Also, Napoli is a bigger city metro area than Roma. Napoli is second to Milano metro size wise. Roma though is a bigger tourist draw and while Campania is a huge tourist draw many people going to Napoli fly to Roma and take the train to Napoli. Roma also has a huge cruise industry draw for starts/stops.

Catania, while smaller than Palermo, has a much busier airport due to the tourist draw for example (and Palermo has Trapani that pulls some traffic). These things are not uncommon worldwide.
“Without seeing Sicily it is impossible to understand Italy.Sicily is the key of everything.”-Goethe "Journey to Italy"
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 4:04 pm

If you want to go deeper...

Croatia - Zagreb (ZAG) and Split (SPU) are the #1 and #2 in terms of largest cities/counties and busiest airport, but DBV is 3rd busiest airport while either Osijek (In terms of County) or Rijeka (In terms of City limit) is #3 in population. Osijek airport is tiny, while RJK is nothing more than a regional airport with seasonal flights.
Bulgaria - Sofia (SOF) is #1 in both population and busiest airport, but 2nd largest city (Plovdiv) has a tiny airport compare to Burgas and Varna (The #3 and #4 in population). The latter two, of course, are seaside resort cities that attract additional traffics.

On the contrary, there's Romania, with Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, and even #4 Iasi followed the order of both population and busiest airports. Romania does have the following going for it:
1. Lack of large tourism center, i.e. seaside/beach city (Unless you really think Constanta is one...), with an airport that draw additional traffic that wouldn't exist otherwise.
2. Cities relatively spread out with Romania being a modest size country in European standard.
3. Lack of HSR means there's no city pairs that "compete" with rail, which tend to reduce the demand to the airport of the smaller city.

FlyingSicilian wrote:
Also, Napoli is a bigger city metro area than Roma. Napoli is second to Milano metro size wise. Roma though is a bigger tourist draw and while Campania is a huge tourist draw many people going to Napoli fly to Roma and take the train to Napoli. Roma also has a huge cruise industry draw for starts/stops.


Agree - Napoli being only a little bit over an hour by HSR from Roma means people will just take the train, especially between the two cities.
 
SCQ83
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:13 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
Last not least, there are living more people in the catchment area of HAM, than in Norway, Finland or Denmark, still there are OSL, CPH, ARN and HEL not much bigger than HAM, but all offering long haul connections.

The point is everybody tries to explain the situation of HAM rationally and declares that there must be a rational reason. Whereas I believe, that simply the decision by Lufthansa to serve HAM through MUC and FRA and the organization of alliances and JVs explain the situation of missing longhaul connections in HAM.


There is a very rational explanation for the current situation of HAM and the development over the last few years compared to, let's say, TXL.

Hamburg is not a major global tourism mecca like Berlin or Bayern (Munich, Neuschwanstein) are. That is the reason with American Airlines flies to Dubrovnik (a village of 40,000 with little to none catchment area) or Qatar Airways flies to Santorini or Mykonos (two islands of 10-15,000 residents each) and do not fly to Hamburg.
 
VSMUT
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:29 pm

fessor wrote:
As For Bll the second biggest airport in Denmark is placed in short distance of Esbjerg 5th largest city, Kolding 7th largest, Horsens 8th Vejle 9th, Fredericia 16th
On top of that is Odense 3rd in a short distance too, and Odense has a tiny airport with almost no traffic.
BLL serves the island of Fyn and most part of middle and southern Jylland.

From my home it's about 1,5 hours to BLL and 1h45m to CPH but to go to CPH you need pay for pass Storebælt so I choose BLL for most flight.
Sadly non of the ME3 fly there yet, so leaves me with KLM if I fly east as I simply not like LH and doesn't fly TK


Indeed, Billund serves a catchment area of just over 2.5 mio. In that light, it punches below its weight.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:45 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
The Netherlands have just one big airport, the rest is not even secondary airports.


That's quite an understatement, Eindhoven is the 80th busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. It handles more passengers than Belgrade, Newcastle or London City for example. Rotterdam is also fairly busy, however it doesn't make the top 100. Quite likely because of it's proximity to Amsterdam, which is not true for Eindhoven.

Eindhoven as a city might not be that big, but it's catchment area is a lot bigger. It includes the whole south and east of the Netherlands plus some parts of Belgium and Germany. That's quite a large area.

If you want a country for which your statement is really true, look at Hungary. The only major airport is Budapest. Of course this is also by far the largest city in the country. But also in Hungary the second-busiest airport is found in the second-largest city (Debrecen). Needs to be said Debrecen is a whole lot smaller than Budapest.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: How in sync are city sizes to airport sizes in Europe?

Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:22 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
If you want a country for which your statement is really true, look at Hungary. The only major airport is Budapest. Of course this is also by far the largest city in the country. But also in Hungary the second-busiest airport is found in the second-largest city (Debrecen). Needs to be said Debrecen is a whole lot smaller than Budapest.


Adding on, Szeged, 3rd largest city of Hungary, doesn't even have commercial air service. Of course, again, Szeged itself is not that big, either.

Its nearby neighbor, Czech Republic, does have city size and airport size matching up with each other in Top 3 (PRG/Praha, BRQ/Brno, OSR/Ostrava). On the flip side, BRQ and OSR are both tiny airports with <500k pax a year.

Czech's former brother (Slovakia) has #1 and #2 (Bratislava/BTS and Kosice/KSC) matching up, but Poprad-Tatry Airport (TAT) by default is #3 as it's the only airport with commerical service in Slovakia outside of BTS and KSC. The town of Poprad itself is not big, and the traffic to/from TAT is basically 100% ski traffic in the High Tatras.

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