Euro 2024: How The Top Travel Stats Line Up

The next big European football event, the UEFA European Football Championship, is nearly here. Twenty-four national teams will compete over four weeks culminating in the Euro final on the 14th July in Berlin. While all the attention will be on Mbappe, Kimmich and perhaps Bellingham, in typical OAG fashion we’re more interested in the flight data!

  • How many flights are scheduled to Germany for the Euro 2024 tournament?
  • Which German airport has the most airline capacity?
  • And when your team's knocked out and you're flying home, which airport is most likely to ensure you depart on-time? 

First, see an overview of our top travel data picks for the Euros tournament in the graphic below 👇 then read on to find out more.

The Longest 'Pass'

Portugal and Georgia find themselves in Group F and possibly represent two of the furthest teams apart from each other, both in terms of geographical distance and skill. It’s 2,445 nautical miles from Lisbon to Tbilisi, a similar distance to the new BA London to Jeddah service. The average length of a football pitch is 120 metres so that’s a lot of football pitches to run between the two countries!

The Largest 'Team'

If we ever measured the size of a team by airline capacity then Spain would be eventual winners with 114 million scheduled seats this summer, followed by the United Kingdom (although that does include Scotland’s airports). The ‘smallest team’ measured by airline capacity is Slovenia with just over 573,000 seats this summer, one of the few European markets without any Ryanair presence!

The 'Biggest' Bases

No one will be surprised that Frankfurt is the largest airport in Germany with 24.5 million scheduled seats this summer, and Munich is in the second spot with 16.8 million. Frankfurt will host five matches in the competition including the “massive” Slovakia V’s Romania match on the 26th June. Berlin’s Olympiastadion will host six matches including the final, with a capacity of 74,500 it could be filled 131 times over by this summer’s planned capacity at Brandenburg Airport.

The 'Mystery' Airport

There are 10 cities hosting matches in this year’s competition; nine of them have an airport and one has only a railway station! Gelsenkirchen, with a railway station code of ZEJ will be the base for four matches, including England’s first match on the 16th June. If you do need to fly into an airport near Gelsenkirchen, then Dusseldorf is only twenty-one miles away and served, unsurprisingly, by a high frequency train service.

Domestic 'Defences' Weakened

The last major football tournament in Qatar relied on the “airbridge” to Dubai to accommodate many supporters’ day tripping to matches. Typically, supporters travel between domestic destinations by a combination of plane, train and bus. This year’s event will see more reliance on train than plane as German domestic capacity has been cut by 48% since the Summer of 2019, with the ‘referee’ - or regulator - once again influencing the result. Easyjet and Ryanair have both dropped all domestic flights since Summer 2019 and with Lufthansa the largest carrier, airfares will probably finish up higher than Brighton did in the English Premier League this year.

'SAF' at Euro 2024

Unfortunately, we are not referring to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), but the number of Scheduled Aviation Flights to Germany during Euro 2024, during the thirty days of the competition:

  • 12.4 million scheduled seats will be operated to Germany across 70,000 flights.
  • Spain is the busiest country market in the tournament with 1.6 million seats.
  • There are 737,000 seats to Greece so once the host country are out of the tournament fans can head to the Greek Islands to recover.

'Training' for the Tournament

Not athletic training, but a form of transport! Germany has long been a leader in inter-modal connectivity and Deutsche Bahn has always been a leader in promoting regional access through train services. During Euro 24 we might need to get used to new three letter station codes such as QKL (Cologne/Bonn), ZWS (Stuttgart) and XIT (Leipzig) as supporters rally across the country.

In total there are 47 rail stations with airport codes in Germany. During the tournament they will collectively offer around 500,000 seats, the busiest being Frankfurt and the quietest Muenster/Osnabrueck (FMO) with 21,000 seats, although there are no matches scheduled for FMO (which may indeed be a code for a Fear of Missing Out!).

Late 'Kick-Offs'

There shouldn’t be any late kick-offs during the competition but there could be plenty of injury time with the current interpretation of playing time. With that in mind, it is always worth looking at on-time performance so we’ve tracked last month’s results in Germany:

  • The best airport for OTP is Stuttgart with 88.9% on-time performance,
  • The worst airport for OTP is Munich at 59.3% - so just keep those levels in mind if you’re travelling to the tournament,
  • And for anyone fortunate enough to have a ticket for the Berlin final then their latest OTP rates are 71.6% for April 2024.

So that's our round-up from a data perspective, but back to the football - if you’ve drawn Georgia in the office competition then don’t plan to spend your winnings, if you’ve drawn England then expect a penalty shoot-out or two, and if you want to back a winner then France or Germany are strong candidates. Either way it’s another month of football and the Premier League starts about 5 weeks later, oh joy!

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