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New record year at Dortmund Airport

Passenger numbers cause optimism at the turn of the year

Airlines vorfeld dortmund airport
Dortmund Airport | © Christian Tietz

At the last supervisory board meeting of Flughafen Dortmund GmbH for 2023, airport managing director Ludger van Bebber presented the preliminary traffic figures for 2023. The economic and financial plan for 2024 was also approved and an outlook for the coming months was provided.

Passenger development

Since the beginning of the year, passenger numbers at Dortmund Airport have shown stable growth rates, peaking in the summer season. In the months from January to October 2023, a total of 2,559,192 passengers used Dortmund Airport – corresponding to cumulative growth of around 17.5 percent compared to the previous year and almost 14 percent compared to the pre-crisis year 2019.

In a nationwide comparison, Dortmund Airport shows a remarkably strong recovery rate. Although air traffic across Germany is gradually recovering from the effects of the pandemic, war and inflation, the volume of air traffic across Germany between January and September 2023 was still 22.4 percent below the 2019 level.

Record numbers at the end of the year

“We are extremely satisfied with the developments in 2023. Given the positive trend, we are set to significantly exceed the passenger forecast of 2.6 million travellers from the beginning of the year,” sums up airport boss Ludger van Bebber. For the whole of 2023, Dortmund Airport is now expecting a passenger volume of 2.9 million travellers. “At the end of November we managed to set a new passenger record with a total of 2,726,145 passengers and exceeded the record from the whole of 2019 (2,719,563 passengers),” continued van Bebber. This makes 2023 the year with the highest number of passengers in the history of Dortmund Airport.

The growth rates have been significantly influenced by new connections, increases in frequency and the general orientation of the airport. In particular, the extensive and high-demand range of Southeast European destinations as well as the focus on high-growth, low-cost carriers have proven to be key drivers in recent months.

After three route extensions by the Hungarian airline Wizz Air, the airport is about to expand its range of destinations to include another important hub, with an upcoming connection to Istanbul.

New investments for 2024 

Further operational and infrastructural measures will be needed in future to meet the increased requirements and to be in a position to act successfully and in line with needs in the coming year. The first investments have already been decided by the Supervisory Board at today's meeting. The purchase of a new sweeper has been confirmed, which will clear the apron, taxiways and the runway of potential foreign bodies and residues. A new system vehicle for open space management and use in winter service has also been approved.

The management is optimistic about the remaining weeks of the current year and forecasts continued growth for 2024.