Infographic: Europe’s saturated skies

Home Infographics Infographic: Europe’s saturated skies

Serious cooperation across the continent will be essential to keep air travel safe, efficient and sustainable.

Roughly half the planet’s population – 3.8 billion people – took to the skies in 2016. Thanks to low air fares, rising living standards and continued economic growth, that figure could nearly double to 7.2 billion by 2035.

Europe currently handles a staggering 27,000 flights and 2.3 million passengers every day – a number that will rise by another 1.6 million over the next 20 years. That will put a great deal of pressure on decision makers, who must simultaneously steer the industry towards greener standards, protect against the threat of terrorism and increase capacity in Europe’s airspace.

Going strong

Three most common aircraft

The busiest airports

Passengers in 2016 and change from 2015.

The congestion challenge

Planned capacity dropped by more than half after the 2008 economic crisis. Without additional capacity and runways, the industry will lack more than 120 million seats by 2035 and 20 airports will be running at capacity (compared to only three in 2012), resulting in increased delays.

Location of Europe’s biggest Airports


Infographics: Onlab @onlab_berlin, Ben McCluskey, LargeNetwork 

Sources: EuroStat, European Aviation Safety Agency, European Environment Agency, Eurocontrol, FlightAware, Airports Council International Europe, UK airport data, Paris Airports Statistics, Amsterdam Transport and Traffic Statistics, ADV German Airport Statistics, TAV Airports Statistics, Spain AENA Airport Statistics, Italian Airport Statistics, IATA

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