Airlines: Copenhagen Airport has massive capacity problems

Check-in counters, baggage issues and security problems among concerns voiced

Copenhagen Airport may have been rated Europe’s most efficient airport earlier this summer, but there’s always room for improvement.

According to documents obtained by from the traffic authority Trafikstyrelsen, the biggest airlines using Copenhagen Airport contend the airport is struggling with capacity issues.

The eight-page document, which are the minutes taken from a meeting between Trafikstyrelsen and ten major airlines – SAS, Norwegian, easyJet, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Atlantic Airways – indicated the airlines were highly critical of the airport’s space capacity.

The airlines contended there were a lack of check-in counters in Terminal 2 and 3 and complained about a lack of flexibility in connection with the assigned counters. Every airline is given six counters per 225 passengers, regardless of the number of self check-in passengers and passengers who need to check in at a counter.

The airlines pointed to London Heathrow, Munich, Singapore, Oslo and even Billund as examples of airports that were more flexible in terms of the check-in counter assignment.

READ MORE: Copenhagen Airport once again rated Europe’s most efficient

Looking for separation
The airlines had a number of other complaints such as the ability to handle first-class passengers, a poor passenger flow in Terminal 3 because of the mix of arriving and departing passengers, and an inadequate current expansion of the security area.

Furthermore, the airlines called for a screening system before the security control similar to Billund’s, complaining that the airport is too commercially-orientated, and that this slows down the passenger flow.

They also criticised the airport for being too packed due to arriving and departing passengers using the same areas and said the baggage area capacity was in need of improvement to reduce waiting times.

The head of communications at Copenhagen Airport, Kasper Hyllested, said the airport would take the airlines’ complaints into consideration during current and future expansions and development projects.

The ten airlines in question account for 70 percent of the passenger traffic at Copenhagen Airport.

One initiative the airport is considering is a special line in the security area for domestic flights. It could also potentially hire more security personnel.

READ MORE: Copenhagen Airport struggling with baggage chaos

Frankfurt cut, Frisco in
In related news, the German airline Lufthansa has decided to cut its flights between Frankfurt and Aalborg at the end of September.

Norwegian, meanwhile, intends to open a new direct route between Copenhagen and San Francisco starting in March next year.

The flight will include weekly departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays and it will become the airline’s ninth US destination out of Copenhagen – the others being New York, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Orlando, Boston, Puerto Rico and Saint Croix.