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Report: Greece’s International Arrivals by Air Before and After Covid-19 Lockdown

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

Greece’s international air arrivals at the beginning of 2020 – before the Covid-19 pandemic spread to the country and travel restrictions were imposed – were recording an upward trend, according to INSETE.

The research arm of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) recently released data on Greece’s air arrivals during the January – September 2020 period. The data has been broken down into the periods before and after Greece’s lockdown due to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

 Jan-Sept 2020 int’l air arrivals down 73.4%

Overall, during the January – September 2020 period, Greece recorded only 5 million international air arrivals compared to 18.8 million in the corresponding period of 2019, showing a drop of 13.8 million or 73.4 percent.

Before Covid-19 pandemic spread to Greece

During the first two months of 2020, 775 thousand international air arrivals were recorded in Greece compared to 734 thousand in the January – February 2019 period, showing an increase of 40 thousand passengers or 5.5 percent.

Start of pandemic in Greece

In contrast, in March, the month when Covid-19 began to spread in Greece, the country saw only 279 thousand international air arrivals, down by 43.7 percent or 217 thousand passengers.

After Covid-19 lockdown

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

Photo source: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA)

In April and May all airports remained closed due to the general lockdown imposed in Greece due to Covid-19 and thus no arrivals were recorded.

In June, when Greece’s lockdown was lifted and airports reopened, the country saw 86,701 arrivals and recorded a decrease of 3.1 million or 97.3 percent, while in July, international arrivals reached some 1.12 million, down by 2.8 million or 71.1 percent.

In August some 1.7 million international air arrivals were recorded in Greece, down by 2.2 million or 56.7 percent.

In September, 1.1 million international air arrivals were recorded compared to 3.1 million in the corresponding month of 2019, showing a decrease of 2 million or 64.4 percent.

Greek airports that recorded the largest drop in Jan-Sept

Photo source: AIA / © Thomas Gerasopoulos

Photo source: AIA / © Thomas Gerasopoulos

According to INSETE’s data, the five Greek airports that recorded a decrease of more than 1 million international air arrivals during the first nine months of the year are:

Athens International Airport, which recorded only 1.7 million international air arrivals (decrease of 67.3 percent or 3.5 million).
Heraklion Airport, which welcomed 757 thousand international air arrivals (decrease of 74.6 percent or 2.2 million).
Rhodes Airport, which recorded 455 thousand international air arrivals (decrease of 78.7 percent or 1.7 million).
Thessaloniki airport, which welcomed 621 thousand international air arrivals (decrease of 66.9 percent or 1.3 million).
Corfu Airport, which recorded 351 thousand international air arrivals (decrease of 74.3 percent or 1 million).

The drop in international air arrivals at all of Greece’s other airports was less than 1 million.

International arrivals to Greece by road

Regarding international arrivals to Greece by road in the January-September 2020 period, 2.5 million were recorded compared to 10.3 million in the corresponding period of 2019, showing a drop of 76.1 percent or 7.8 million.

In total, during the January-September 2020 period, Greece welcomed only 7.5 million international air and road arrivals, compared to the 29.1 million tourists recorded for the first nine months of 2019.

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