“It took Europe’s airports 12 months in 2009 to lose 100 million passengers. With Covid-19, it just took 31 days…” – ACI Europe
Europe’s airports lost 106 million passengers in March due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, surpassing the total lost in the whole of 2009, according to figures released on Friday, by ACI Europe.
According to the Brussels-based trade body, passenger traffic through Europe’s airports dropped by 106 million passengers in March, a 59.5 percent dive, while dragging first quarter passenger traffic down by 21 percent.
In a month’s time European airports went from handling 5,120,000 passengers on March 1 (already down by 11.7 percent compared to the same day in 2019), to a mere 174,000 by March 31, marking a massive 97.1 percent plunge against the same day a year ago.
“It took Europe’s airports 12 months in 2009 to lose 100 million passengers. With Covid-19, it just took 31 days – the month of March – for that same passenger volume and more to vanish,” said ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec.
In view of the Covid-19 repercussions on air travel, ACI Europe expects a loss of 23 billion euros in revenue by the end of 2020, revising downwards its projections for the regions’ airport operators.
More specifically and taking into account the current Commission ban on non-essential travel until May 15, ACI Europe is forecasting a loss of 873 million passengers for Europe’s airports this year down by 35 percent against pre-coronavirus projections of +2.3 percent passenger growth and a loss of 23 billion euros in revenues, a 41 percent decline.
“For now, what airports are getting to help them get through is essentially temporary unemployment schemes – although not from all countries. This is of course much welcomed, as these schemes help airports reduce costs while retaining their workforce. But airports will need them to be prolonged as long as necessary – and they also need urgent flexibility on a range of EU regulatory measures that can help them further reduce their costs,” said Jankovec.
ACI Europe is renewing its call for a fully coordinated European aviation relief scheme to support all air transport stakeholders and announced the launch of its “Off the Ground” project aimed at identifying the issues airports and partners face and lay out the guidelines to fully restart operations and restore air connectivity.