Airports Council International (ACI) in Europe revealed through its air traffic report for October 2021 that European passenger traffic decreased by 36.7 percent compared to the same month during the pre-pandemic period.
However, although the October figures are still much lower than in 2019, compared to September 2021, they show an increase of 6.2 percent, which means that the European airport network has improved slightly.
“The report shows that passenger traffic in the European airport network decreased by -36.7 per cent in October compared to the same period before the pandemic (2019) – an improvement compared to the previous month (-42.9 per cent in September),” the statement reads.
According to the ACI, airports in the EU/Schengen area experienced lower passenger losses during October (-41.2 per cent) than in September (-48.1 per cent).
On the other hand, although airports in the non-EU/Schengen area continued to outperform in October, they did not see an improvement in passenger traffic, TheSchengen.com reports.
“The significant progress made in vaccination operations translated into improved performance for many airports in October. This is good news – and the reopening of the transatlantic market in November only added to the momentum. Olivier Jankovic, Director General of ACI Europe, said,” At the same time, this was not a unifying trend.”
Moreover, an uneven pace of recovery was revealed as there were significant differences in the performance of national markets within the EU/Schengen area.
Despite the fact that Greece (-16.3 percent), Cyprus (-20.5 percent), Portugal (-27.4 percent), and Spain (-30 percent) welcomed large numbers of tourists during the summer, their airports still registered Less passenger traffic reduced.
However, some airports still perform worse than those in the above countries:
Finland (-65.7%) Czech Republic (60%) United Kingdom (-56%) Sweden (-53.1%)
As for airports outside the EU/Schengen area, the best performance was recorded in Albania, with an increase of 7.1 percent, followed by Kosovo with 4.1 percent, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and Uzbekistan. .
In addition, through the same report, it was revealed that the traffic performance of the larger airports in the EU+ region was severely affected by the travel restrictions that remained in place throughout the month of October.
The five largest European airports saw an average drop in passenger traffic of 45.6 per cent, with London Heathrow being hardest hit (-56.5 per cent), along with Paris CDG (-51.4 per cent), and Frankfurt (-47.2 per cent) ), and Amsterdam – Schiphol (-41.8 per cent).
In contrast, Istanbul Airport recorded much lower losses compared to the aforementioned airports and remained the busiest airport in October.
Smaller and secondary airports were faster to recover. Category 4 airports, which have fewer than 5 million passengers annually, saw a drop in passenger traffic by 22.8 percent. However, those numbers are still less than half the decline experienced by major airports.
>> ACI calls on governments to implement evidence-based travel measures