Greece’s main Athens International Airport (AIA) managed to show signs of resilience in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic achieving a smaller third quarter (Q3) decline compared to other airports in the region, an ACI Europe report reveals.
According to the European airport trade body’s report, passenger traffic in Greece dropped by 64 percent in Q3 year on year (see map above).
ACI Europe’s data showed that traffic at AIA, Greece’s largest airport, fell by 66.1 percent or 2.95 million passengers in Q3 compared to the same period last year, securing 4th spot for AIA among the Top 5 airports in Europe (with over 25 million passengers annually) suffering the lowest declines.
Overall at Europe’s airports, ACI recorded an 81 percent decline through to November 15, or a massive loss of 1.5 billion passengers so far.
A closer look at the data from 244 airports across Europe reveals a 73.2 percent nosedive in passenger traffic in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period a year earlier.
With regard to Greece and based on ACI Europe data, AIA was ranked 14th in terms of Q3 passenger traffic with 2.95 million passengers, followed by the airports of Heraklion (33rd) with 1.6 million passengers (-60 percent), Rhodes (55th) with 998 thousand passengers (-66.5 percent), Thessaloniki (58th) with 956 thousand passengers (-59.3 percent), Corfu (79th) with 735 thousand passengers (-60.9 percent), and Kos (95th) with 539 thousand passengers (-63.7 percent).
Moreover, Chania airport ranked 109th in Europe with Q3 passenger traffic at 449 thousand passengers (-68.7 percent), Santorini (114th) with 396 thousand passengers (-63.7 percent), Zakynthos (113th) with 393 thousand (-66.5 percent), Mykonos with 337 thousand passengers (-62.6 percent), Kefalonia (149th) with 155 thousand passengers (-67.8 percent), and Mytilene airport (171st) with 86 thousand passengers (-55.7 percent).
In Europe, Moscow’s two airports were in the busiest among the 244 under review handling 6 million and 5.84 million passengers in Q3. The airports of Paris and Istanbul followed.
On the downside, major European hubs such as Frankfurt and London saw third quarter traffic plunge by over 80 percent and a loss of 3.98 million and 3.54 million passengers, respectively.
“These airports are bracing with an accelerating downward trend in passenger traffic. Airlines continue to cut back planned capacity in response to the further extension of local lockdowns in many countries – which are only adding further pain to the one already inflicted by severe cross border travel restrictions,” said Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe.
“As things stand, passenger traffic is heading back towards another full collapse similar to the one experienced in second quarter, when volumes were down by 96 percent,” said Jankovec.