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Top 10 European airports

Arabian Supply Chain looks at ten of Europe's leading aviation hubs.
SPECIAL REPORTS, Top 10...

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With several Middle East airlines flying to Europe, Arabian Supply Chain looks at ten of the continent's leading airports in 2008/9, in no particular order.

London Heathrow Airport (UK)

London Heathrow Airport is the flagship airport of the United Kingdom and the busiest in the European Union in terms of passenger traffic.

Located 22km west from Central London, the airport is owned by BAA and handled a total of 67,056,228 passengers in 2008 – a decrease of 1.5% compared to the previous year. So far in 2009, the airport has handled 31,230,800 passengers between January and June, which is a decline of 3.8%.

Airlines with a presence at Heathrow Airport include Lufthansa, South African Airways, Air Algérie, Air France, Royal Air Maroc, Yemenia, Air India, British Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.


Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (France)

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is France’s principal airport and was named after Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), leader of the Free French Forces and founder of the French Fifth Republic.

Located 25km to the north-east of Paris, the airport handled 60,851,998 passengers in 2008, in addition to 559,812 aircraft movements - making it the world's fifth busiest airport in terms of passengers.

There are three terminals at the airport, handling both international and domestic traffic, supported by shopping outlets, restaurants and business facilities such as meeting rooms and VIP lounges.

Airlines with a presence at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport include British Airways, EgyptAir, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Thai Airways and US Airways.


Frankfurt International Airport (Germany)

Frankfurt International Airport is the busiest airport in Germany, located 12km southwest of the city centre.

Operated by Fraport, the airport handled a total of 53,467,450 passengers in 2008 – a decrease of 1.3% compared to the previous year. More recently, 24.2 million passengers used the airport in the January-to-June 2009 period, a decline of 8% compared to the same period last year.

Airlines with a presence at Frankfurt airport include Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Airways, Air India, Iran Air, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Emirates.

There are plans to expand Frankfurt Airport with a fourth runway and a new Terminal 3.


Madrid Barajas Airport (Spain)

Since its opening in 1928, Madrid Barajas Airport has emerged as the main airport in Spain and the fourth busiest in Europe.

Located 13km north-east of central Madrid, approximately 50.8 million passengers used Madrid Barajas Airport in 2008 – a decrease of 2.4% compared to the previous year.

Capacity at Madrid International Airport was doubled in early 2006 with the addition of the new Terminal 4 and two extra runways.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Air Canada, EgyptAir Cairo, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Air France, Scandinavian Airlines, British Airways and Royal Jordanian.


Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Netherlands)

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the main airport in the Netherlands, located 9.1km southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.

The airport handled 47,429,741 passengers in 2008 - a decrease of 0.8% compared to the previous year.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Air Arabia, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, British Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Iran Air, and United Airlines.


Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport (Italy)

Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport is Italy's largest airport, located 35km from Rome's historic city centre.

The airport handled 35,226,351 passengers in 2008, an increase of 6.6% compared to the previous year - making it the world's 25th busiest airport by passenger traffic.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Air Italy, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, KLM, Olympic Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Iran Air, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Thai Airways International and Yemenia.


Munich International Airport (Germany)

For the first time ever, passenger traffic at Munich Airport topped the 17 million mark in the first half of 2008, representing an increase of 1 million passengers compared with the same period in 2007.

The airport was opened in 1992 to replace the former international hub in Munich-Riem. Since then, it has grown into a 1500 hectare site with two terminals, two parallel runways measuring 4000 metres long and 60 metres wide, and 10 car parks.

The hub, which is officially named Franz Josef Strauss International Airport, is located 17.5 miles (28km) northeast of Munich, Germany. It is the main base for German airline Lufthansa and various Star Alliance partner airlines.

Munich's hub is jointly owned by three shareholders. The Free State of Bavaria holds a 51% stake while the Federal Republic of Germany and City of Munich own 26% and 23% respectively.

The airport is divided into three parts: Terminal 1, the Common Area and Terminal 2, which is the newest building. All three are within walking distance of each other, with Terminal 2 the base for Lufthansa and Star Alliance flights. Furthermore, there is a separate General Aviation Terminal serving private and corporate planes.


London Gatwick Airport (UK)

Gatwick Airport is the second busiest airport in the United Kingdom after Heathrow.

The airport is owned by BAA and located 5km north of central Crawley, West Sussex and 5.7 km south of London.

Passenger numbers was down to 34,205,887 in 2008 – a decrease of 2.9% from the previous year.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Virgin Atlantic Airways, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, EasyJet, Qatar Airways and Thomson Airways.


Barcelona El Prat Airport (Spain)

Barcelona El Prat Airport is the second largest airport in Spain, behind Madrid Barajas Airport.

Located 10km southwest from the city of Barcelona, the airport mainly serves domestic, European and North African destinations, also having minor flights to Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Austrian Airlines, EgyptAir, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Air Arabia, Pakistan International Airlines, Royal Jordanian and British Airways.

Earlier this year, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero inaugurated a new terminal at Barcelona airport, increasing its capacity from 30 to 55 million passengers annually.

Istanbul Atatürk International Airport (Turkey)

Atatürk International Airport is the main airport in Turkey, located 15km southwest of the city centre.

The airport is named in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and the first president of the Republic of Turkey.

Approximately 28.5 million passengers were handled in 2008 – an increase of 11.7% compared to the previous year.

Airlines with a presence at the airport include Turkish Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, KLM, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Swiss International Airlines.

Click here for the top 10 airlines of 2009

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