The result of the latest IATA air traffic forecasts is clear – the Solidarity Transport Hub is an investment that is legitimate and will benefit Poland and the region. By 2060, the Solidarity Airport will attract around 850 million passengers and over 35 million tonnes of air cargo to Poland.
IATA is an international organisation with over 70 years of tradition. It represents around 290 airlines in 120 countries, which is 83% of total air traffic. It was IATA that was commissioned by Poland to prepare forecasts of the air traffic in Poland, including the construction of the Solidarity Airport in 2027. They take into account the current situation of the aviation market, the course of the pandemic, macroeconomic and demographic factors, airline development trends or carriers' development strategies.
The completion of STH is a key investment priority for Poland. STH will be a catalyst for other infrastructure projects and will be a positive stimulus for the economy, the labour market and GDP. The future starts right now and despite the difficult situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Poland cannot stop its investments
The forecasts prepared by IATA confirm the right direction taken by the STH developers. A return to pre-pandemic levels is forecast for 2024 – around 50 million passengers at Polish airports. In 2040, this is expected to be around 100 million and over 140 million passengers in 2060 (baseline scenario).
The forecasts are clear – what lies ahead is not only a return to pre-pandemic performance, but also further dynamic market growth after 2024. With the construction of the Solidarity Airport, we will attract around 850 million passengers by 2060. There could hardly be a more irrefutable argument for the construction of STH. I am glad that such a recognised institution as IATA sees the value of our project and says directly that without it we will not make a step forward
IATA forecasts around 30 million passengers for the Solidarity Airport in its first full year of operation (baseline scenario). The level of 40 million passengers is to be reached in 2035 and 50 million in 2044. At the end of the forecast – in 2060 – it predicts about 65 million in the baseline scenario, 48.5 million in the high scenario, and in the most optimistic scenario, STH will serve about 72 million passengers.
Reliable aviation forecasts are a key part of airport planning. The professionalism and data of IATA, the most important airline association in the world, guarantee that the infrastructure we plan will match demand. The airport will already be able to handle 40 million passengers at the first stage, which should provide sufficient capacity until 2035. At the same time, if the market develops at the assumed pace, we will very soon be able to increase the airport capacity even more
IATA's forecasts also indicate how the quantity of the Solidarity Transport Hub's passengers should develop. In the first period (2027-2035), it is expected to be 40 million passengers per year and should increase to 50 million passengers in the next 7-10 years. By 2060, the volume should reach 65 million passengers per year.
In addition to passenger traffic, IATA has prepared a cargo forecast. It takes into account the current situation of Chopin Airport, which handles less than 1% of the European air cargo. Currently as much as 62% of the air cargo from the Central and Eastern Europe (approx. 1.8 million tonnes per year) is exported to airports in Western Europe. IATA forecasts that the Solidarity Airport could gain up to 20% market share in the Central and Eastern Europe in the short term. According to forecasts, without the construction of STH, Poland would have missed out on 35 million tonnes of cargo by 2060.
The cargo forecast (baseline scenario) for STH indicates 0.5 million tonnes in 2030, one million tonnes in 2035, up to 1.76 million at the end of the forecast period, i.e. in 2060. Thus, the Solidarity Airport has a chance to join the largest cargo hubs in Europe – for example, Frankfurt Airport currently handles 2.1 million tonnes of cargo per year, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris – 2.1 million, and London Heathrow – 1.7 million.
IATA forecasts were made for years 2022-2060 in three scenarios: baseline – based on the most reasonable assumptions, including those for pandemic development and GDP growth; high – assuming, among other things, shorter-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and higher economic development in Poland; low – assuming that all adverse factors would occur. The key assumptions of the forecast also include, among others, maintaining the operation of all regional airports in Poland, the opening of Radom airport, the construction of the Solidarity Airport, the implementation of the STH Railway Programme, including the HSR sections, as well as the strategic plans of airlines gathered through consultations.
In addition, the updated forecast results have been analysed and assessed in detail by the STH Strategic Advisor – Seoul Incheon Airport and by the Master Plan Consultant, and the STH capacity levels have also been checked by the Integrator Programme Manager. All entities have assessed the assumptions and results of the forecasts as “correct and appropriate” – for use when planning the STH construction.