Cologne Bonn Airport: 12 million passengers and counting


Building on a landmark year in 2016, Cologne Bonn Airport delivered its best-ever year in terms of throughput in the airport’s history, concluding 2017 with new all-time records for both passenger traffic and cargo. As a result, 2017 becomes the fourth consecutive year that both passenger and cargo traffic has grown.

Handling 500,000 extra passengers in 2017 than in the previous year, Cologne Bonn produced a solid 4% passenger traffic growth, resulting in a total of 12.4 million passengers using the airport in 2017. Over one million passengers per month used the facility during April to October last year – the first time the airport has ever achieved this feat. Air freight also developed positively in 2017 ‒ processing 840,000 tons and representing a 7% increase ‒ another highpoint for Germany’s third-largest cargo airport.

With A319s being the most frequently-used passenger aircraft to be operated at the German airport (28,700 movements), and the 767-300 being the most-popular cargo aircraft (5,700 movements), Terminal 1’s boarding gate C20 saw the highest passenger use throughout 2017. Last year the airport was linked to 142 destinations in 48 countries, with Cape Town (9,465km) being the furthest network point with regular operations, while Leipzig-Halle (359km) was the closest destination served. Berlin Tegel ended the year as the most popular destination, with over 1.2 million passengers flying the busy domestic sector over the past 12 months.

The growth driver in passenger traffic in 2017 was above all Eurowings. Lufthansa’s in-house low-cost long-haul airline has added new destinations such as Cape Town and Windhoek, southern African cities which are only served out of Cologne Bonn in the North Rhine-Westphalia region. Eurowings has also expanded its range of domestic routes from the airport with extra services to Berlin and Hamburg, as well as a new route to Munich being added. Despite the bankruptcy of airberlin in October, which operated to Berlin Tegel and Munich from Cologne Bonn, the airport still managed to produce a passenger increase of 3% in Q4 of 2017.


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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.