Welcome to HAM 2023 traffic figures: 13.6 million passengers for Hamburg Airport
Press Release

2023 traffic figures: 13.6 million passengers for Hamburg Airport

Flugzeuge auf dem Vorfeld.
Apron Hamburg Airport
Hamburg Airport Fluggastpier
Passenger Pier Hamburg Airport
Portrait Christian Kunsch
Christian Kunsch, Chief Executive Officer of Hamburg Airport

Passenger volume at 78 percent of 2019 level // October breaks all records // Aircraft load factor reaches high level // Forecast for 2024: passenger numbers expected to climb gently


The recovery of the aviation sector is continuing. Demand for travel by air rose once again at Hamburg Airport in 2023. Compared to 2022, the first year without coronavirus restrictions, passenger volume increased by approximately 22 percent, from 11.1 million (2022) to around 13.6 million passengers in 2023. Especially good news: the aircraft load factor of 80% was higher than the level seen before the pandemic (2019: 77.8%). To satisfy the high demand, airlines are also deploying larger aircraft on flights to and from Hamburg, with greater passenger capacity. The airport expects further growth over the next year.

Strong demand for holiday travel

Passenger figures at Hamburg Airport in 2023 were defined by a significant growth in demand. Compared to the previous year, 22 percent more passengers flew to or from Hamburg. For the majority, these flights were for holidays or to visit friends and family. Private travel had a market share of just under 80 percent. Business travel was slightly above 20 percent.

The strong demand for holiday travel was not restricted to the main travel period between June and August. During the autumn, too, many northern Germans were overcome by the urge to travel, both during and outside the school breaks. As a result, the strong summer was followed by an absolute record-breaking October, with the highest figures since the coronavirus for three different indicators: as well as the record monthly passenger volume (1.45 million passengers in October 2023), the airport also set a new weekly record of 342,000 passengers and a daily record of 56,500 passengers, set on Friday 13 October 2023. Despite the positive trend, however, the airport is still around 22 percent below the 17.3 million passengers seen in 2019. 

Traffic figures: an overview

With approximately 120,300 take-offs and landings, the total number of aircraft movements in 2023 rose by around 9.8 percent over the previous year (2022: approx. 109,600 take-offs and landings; 2019: approx. 155,200 take-offs and landings). In response to the strong demand, the airlines are also deploying larger aircraft with higher seating capacity for flights to and from Hamburg. This meant that the average number of seats per flight grew from 160 (2022) to 163, compared to 159 in 2019. On a particularly positive note, the load factor on aircraft flying to and from Hamburg continues to climb. An average of 80.1 percent of seats were occupied, some 4.6 percentage points higher than in the previous year (2022: 75.5 percent). The average number of passengers per flight in 2023 was 130, compared to an average of 121 the previous year (2022).

Christian Kunsch, Chief Executive Officer of Hamburg Airport: “The airlines plan more efficiently today, tailoring their product as precisely as possible to demand. As a result, capacity is utilised as well as possible, transporting significantly more passengers on today’s flights, sending a positive signal for more sustainable air travel. This development aligns completely with Hamburg Airport’s ambitious climate protection targets.” 

Outlook for 2024: Positive traffic development

Based on current forecasts, Hamburg Airport anticipates 14.3 million passengers for the coming year, representing an increase of approx. 5 percent over 2023.

“The development of the traffic figures gives me great confidence for the future. We also expect growth in 2024. The situation continues to improve. In particular, the rapid recovery of holiday travel after the pandemic clearly reveals the longing people sense for faraway places and the desire they have for mobility. I am especially thrilled by the fact that we already offer passengers a similar route network to what we had in 2019. With the announcement of several new direct routes within Europe and the new long-haul service between Hamburg and Doha, 2023 closed with good news for us at Hamburg Airport – and also for our passengers, who will have even more opportunities to travel in the new year,” reflected Christian Kunsch, CEO of Hamburg Airport.

Contact persons for journalists / media

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Press office
Outside office hours and on weekends, the press office can be reached by email at presse@ham.airport.de.
Katja Bromm
Katja Bromm
Head of Communication / Publication Officer
Janet Niemeyer
Janet Niemeyer
Head of Press / Publication Officer
Philipp Wolf
Philipp Wolf
Deputy Publication Officer