Europe’s Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol, said this week that it expects air traffic to be down by 55 to 70 percent through to June impacted by Covid-19 measures and depending on when governments decide to allow non-essential travel.
The organization is citing stricter travel restrictions put in place by EU states to address the latest waves of Covid-19 and its new variants.
“It is clear that the months of February and March will be exceptionally low across the network, except for cargo, some business traffic and skeleton schedule services. Even April is expected to perform very poorly with only a limited pick-up for the Easter period. Flights in Europe will probably only be around 25-30 percent of normal. It is a complete disaster for European aviation – an industry that’s already on its knees,” said Eurocontrol Director General Eamonn Brennan.
Two traffic scenarios
According to the organization’s first of two Traffic Scenarios which cover the months to June 2021, if non-essential air travel is allowed, there could be a “partial improvement” in Q2, followed by a larger recovery in the summer period to levels around -55 percent of 2019.
The second scenario sees no improvement in Q2 due to strict national travel restrictions which prevent any “reasonable improvement” in air travel until at least Q3.
If EU countries decide to continue their travel restrictions, there will be little possibility for air travel to improve until the summer period with projections at -70 percent by June, Eurocontrol said.