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Netherlands’ Air Travel on the Rise in 2023, Yet Still Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Categories: Latest News,Travel

In 2023, the Netherlands saw an impressive bounce-back in air travel following the pandemic’s impact, with its’ five major airports playing host to a whopping 71.3 million passengers – over 16% more than in 2022! Although we have yet to quite hit the lofty pre-pandemic air travel numbers, we’re definitely on our way up.

Ironically, while the total number of commercial flights in 2023 soared by 9% from the previous year to nearly 506,000, the air freight sector took a bit of a hit with an almost 9% decrease in transported goods.

The Peaks and Valleys of 2023 Air Travel

Taking a closer look at the calendar, August was the star of the show, with 48.1 thousand flights and 7.1 million passengers. And the peak? It was the end of July to early August when daily travel shot past the 246 thousand-passenger mark. On the flip side, the calmest day was tucked away in January with just 113 thousand passengers.

Interestingly, the year also saw more butts on seats, as the average aircraft occupancy rate rose from 76 in 2022 to 79 in 2023 (still a touch shy of the 2019 figure of 81).

the departure area at a dutch airport

Airport Insights and Future Outlook

Diving into airport-specific data, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol stayed in the lead, processing 87% of all flights and passengers, although it still operated under its pre-pandemic volume. Rotterdam, The Hague Airport, and Eindhoven Airport didn’t just surpass their 2022 figures; they went a step further and outdid their 2019 passenger numbers as well. This saw Eindhoven step up as the country’s second major airport for passenger traffic.

Meanwhile, Maastricht Aachen Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde experienced contrasting fortunes. Maastricht saw a dip, primarily due to a temporary closure for runway maintenance. At the same time, Groningen witnessed a rise in numbers, albeit still below 2019 levels.

Most air passengers (over 73%) preferred to travel within the EU and other European countries, with Spain and the UK reigning supreme. Barcelona-El Prat Airport remained the top favorite destination for our Dutch travelers, followed closely by London Heathrow.

Regarding air freight, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol monopolized the scene, primarily due to the temporary closure of Maastricht Airport.

Read Also: Netherlands Tourism Expenditure Rose Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

All said and done, the data paints a picture of the Netherlands air travel gathering steam and gradually recovering from the pandemic’s impact, with a promising outlook for further growth and normalization in the near future. Dutch skies are getting busier, and we couldn’t be more excited! If you are traveling to the Netherlands and even thinking about settling here, check out all our upcoming webinars and events to make the transition as smooth as possible.