Regional airports such as Krakow’s will continue to post higher growth rates than Warsaw’s, which is “maxed out” until a new terminal opens, PMR predicts.
To meet rising demand for flights to and from Poland, government and corporations will pour billions of zloty into expansions of existing airports and the building of new ones in the next five years. The total is expected to top 7 bln zloty between 2008 and 2013, according to PMR.
One of the reasons for the jump in airport construction is an anticipated surge in flights to and from Poland because of the Euro 2012 soccer championships. A third of the airport facilities spending will be at regional airports. The largest projects in the pipeline are at Euro 2012 venues.
A record 19 mln people flew in or out of Polish airports last year, PMR said. The highest growth rates were at the regional airports in Krakow, Katowice, Wroclaw and Gdansk. In fact, growth was so robust outside Warsaw that 2007 was the first year in which fewer than half of all passengers either took off from or landed at the Warsaw airport. One reason is that construction of Warsaw’s second terminal has yet to be completed. The terminal would greatly increase the facility’s capacity. Another reason that Warsaw’s dominance of Poland’s passenger traffic declined was a surge in the number of low-cost airlines serving regional airports.
PMR predicts that the regional airport boom will continue. It believes that by the year 2020 regional facilities will handle nearly two-thirds of Poland’s passenger traffic.