Groningen Airport is still set to offer flights departing to Alanya in Turkey and Kos in Greece during the summer season.
Airport director Meiltje de Groot told RTV Drenthe that on top of those, they may also add even more new destinations. She is also hopeful for a holiday rush to overcrowd Schiphol which might mean flights that would have otherwise been cancelled would depart from Groningen.
The current plans show that from April until November 2024, passengers can fly from Groningen to multiple popular holiday destinations. Flights to Las Palmas and Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Burgas (Bulgaria), Heraklion (Greece), and Guernsey (British Channel Islands) will remain. The flights to Alanya in Turkey and Kos in Greece will be added to the schedule this year.
Increase in passengers
Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) had an increase of 21,000 passengers in 2023, according to de Groot.. However, they have even bigger ambitions for the future: being able to host 350,000 passengers.
Those numbers are much higher than the 108,000 passengers who flew to and from the airport last year.
“The prognosis is that people will want to keep flying,” de Groot told RTV Drenthe, which according to her is based on “international talk in aviation”.
“Two factors play a major role here, the first one is the scarcity of other airports, like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: does the capacity stay the same or are they forced to shrink?” she said.
If this ends up being the case De Groot assumes they will look for other alternatives in the country. The airport wants to be able to offer alternatives and they are in talks with Royal Schiphol Group to strengthen the collaborations, according to RTV Drenthe.
A growth in Groningen’s airport seems even more likely if Lelystad Airport remains closed in the middle of the country. It seems there is a majority in parliament that is happy with this status quo, which could be good news for GAE.
“If there are 40.000 flights added to Lelystad, it will affect our airport severely,” said de Groot.
She also sees the major demand for flights in the occupancy rate of the airplanes with 92% capacity being reached last year.
“Sometimes we joke that passengers would sit on the wings if they could,” she said.