Most travellers only get to know the large airports when travelling on business or going on holiday. In stark contrast to airports such as London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Madrid, Zurich or others of this size that serve as global hubs, there are however hundreds of medium and small airports in Europe that sometimes act as their spokes. These small airports, which are often not even connected to global hubs, are the focus of this book. They play a crucial and vital role for their local communities in terms of daily needs, work, “ethnic travel” (visiting friends and relatives back home), medical assistance and tourism. In many cases, alternative means of transport (e. g. by sea or road) either do not exist or would take much longer, making these airports indispensable.
These airports are predominantly located on islands, within exclaves or in very remote areas on the mainland. Among the airports described in this book, it includes the world’s northernmost commercial airport, the only airport in the world with a runway on the beach and the two airports with the shortest scheduled flight between them in the world.
Most of the flights offered are subsidized through PSO contracts to ensure regular scheduled air services, often at reduced fares, especially for local residents. Actual numbers during COVID-19 pandemic pandemic show that the number of routes and flights was negatively affected only to a minor extent. The fact that passenger numbers did not decline as much as at the larger airports shows just how crucial a role the airports described in this book play for the communities they serve.
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Date of Publication: 01/07/2021