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European Traffic Registers Major Flight Reductions Due to Omicron Variant

The latest report from Eurocontrol showed that European air traffic recorded significant reductions in flights during the first weeks of 2022 due to the Omicron variant, which has spread rapidly within the continent.

Figures provided by Eurocontrol on European network traffic show that from January 10 through January 16, the average number of trips on the continent was 16,973 per day. These numbers indicate that the number of daily flights is down 33 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period, reports.

This means that over the past seven days, EU traffic was only able to reach two-thirds of the 2019 level.

“Traffic in the Eurocontrol network has fallen sharply this month – 16,973 flights/day in the last week, just two-thirds of the 2019 level,” Eurocontrol General Manager Eamon Brennan wrote today on his official Twitter account.

Moreover, the figures revealed that due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant and extended entry rules in the majority of countries, major operators recorded up to 57 percent fewer flights over the past week than at the same time in 2019.

Low-cost airlines saw the most pronounced decline, with Ryanair reporting a 43 percent drop in the past two weeks, followed by Wizz Air, with a 34 percent drop, and easyJet, with a 57 percent drop.

“The clearest reaction to #Omicron is by low-cost airlines with Ryanair down 43 percent over two weeks, EasyJet -57% and Wizzair -34%,” added Brennan.

On the other hand, Turkish Airlines (-3%), Pegasus (-4%), SAS (-5%) and KLM (-11%) recorded less significant declines over the past seven days.

Through the same report, it was revealed that Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Poland were the most crowded, indicating that the countries recorded high rates of arrivals and departures.

Earlier, Eurostat revealed that the number of flights operated in December showed significant signs of recovery. According to the European statistics provider, the number of commercial flights in Europe has increased by 130 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

The figures indicate that 383,720 commercial flights were carried out in December 2021, while 166,990 flights were operated in December 2019.

>>Portugal had better air travel performance in December than other EU member states

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