Last year was a good year for Rotterdam-The Hague Airport. The regional airport on the northern edge of Rotterdam is steadily growing, adding more and more European cities to its destinations. Besides the fact that Rotterdam-The Hague Airport has become one of low-cost carrier Transavia’s hubs for holiday and regular flights throughout the year, it has also been adding a couple of routes from two of Europe’s main carriers: British Airways and Lufthansa. And more is still to come…
Passenger figures for December have not yet been published, but it is expected that Rotterdam-The Hague Airport saw at least 10% more passengers in 2012 than it did in 2011, reaching a all time record of close to 1,3 million passengers per year.
As Holland’s second aviation hub after Schiphol, the airport directly serves the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area of around 3 million people. This area is home to a good mix of business sectors, ranging from government services to port and logistics. The airport itself is definitely set for more growth and may become less vulnerable to economic upheavals, with its interesting mix of government related business travel, private sector business travel and holiday travel markets.
Low cost carrier Transavia (part of KLM-Air France) now offers flights to a wide range of European capitals and business cities, like Rome, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, Prague, Madrid and Barcelona. But last year saw another interesting development. British Airways started with three daily flights to London-Heathrow and Lufthansa inaugurated five flights a week to Munich.
That is good news for the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area, as both inbound and outbound travelers now have two alternatives to Schiphol on some intercontinental destinations. It appears both carriers are tapping into the region now, with their new flights acting as feeders for their intercontinental flights. British Airways flights from Rotterdam share a code with American Airlines for instance.
For 2013, Turkish Airlines appears to be planning three weekly flights between Rotterdam and Istanbul. That may be good for city trips or for the Turkish community in and around Rotterdam. But Turkish Airlines at the moment is one of the world’s fastest expanding airlines, holding a record of countries it serves. It will be interesting to see what connections Turkish Airlines is going to offer on the Rotterdam route.
These developments have definitely put Rotterdam-The Hague Airport back on the map within the aviation world. And on top of that Holland’s new government has said it wants to give regional airports more space to grow.