German air travellers are flocking to Spain, Greece and Italy this year and turning their backs on Turkey and North Africa, according to new official figures.
Strong growth for Spain, good increases for most European destinations and a surge in long-haul travel to the Caribbean and parts of Asia were confirmed in the German federal statistics office’s half-year figures for outbound passengers departing from German airports.
Total passenger numbers increased by 3% to 51.8 million from January to June 2016, with international passenger volumes up by 2.9% to 40.2 million and a 3.4% rise in domestic passengers, the figures showed. The number of passengers flying to a European destination increased by 3.9% to 31.5 million.
Spain was the clear winner in the first half-year. The number of German airline passengers to the country, which is by far the largest destination in terms of air travel, increased by nearly 11% to 6.2 million. There was an 11.6% rise to just over 2 million passengers to the Balearics and a 9.3% increase to 1.5 million visitors to the Canary Islands.
In contrast, passenger numbers to Turkey, the second-largest destination, dropped 13.4% to 2.76 million travellers. This included a 29% drop in travellers from German airports to Antalya.
There was good news for Greece where German air arrivals increased by 6% to 1.1 million, including a 3.7% rise to 0.5 million for the Greek islands. Among European air destinations with a mix of business and leisure travel, there was a 3.6% rise in outbound passengers to the UK, a 4.5% increase to Italy and a slight 1.8% rise to France.
There were diverse trends for ‘intercontinental’ destinations (covering all destinations outside Europe). Asia saw good growth with a 3.9% increase, led by a 28.7% surge in travel to Thailand and a 7.3% increase for the UAE.
Air travel to the Americas grew by 2.8%, with strong increases to the Dominican Republic (+15%) and Mexico (+11%), while the USA saw a moderate 1.2% increase and Brazil welcomed 1.4% more arrivals from Germany.
But air travel to Africa slumped, including a 36% drop to Egypt (which had 0.4 million arrivals from Germany) and a 47% fall to Tunisia, with just 97,000 passengers in the first half-year.