Air travel is slowly but gradually picking up pace in the EU with the number of commercial flights in March showing a 156 percent increase over the same month a year ago but still down by 27 percent on pre-pandemic levels, said Eurostat, statistical office of the European Union.
More specifically, according to the latest monthly data on commercial flights collected by Eurocontrol, the number of commercial flights came to 389,181 in March 2022 compared to 151,986 in March 2021, 296,362 in March 2020, and 530,400 in March 2019.
Greece was among the EU countries recording the smallest decreases down by 12 percent in commercial flights in March 2022. According to the data, other EU countries with the lowest declines were Croatia down by 6 percent compared with March 2019 and Portugal (-8 percent).
Earlier this year, Eurostat data found that Greece was the EU country showing the best signs of recovery in terms of number of commercial flights in 2021 compared to 2019.
Marking the greatest declines were Slovenia down by 56 percent, Sweden (-45 percent), Latvia (-43 percent), Czechia (-42 percent), and Finland (-41 percent).
Meanwhile, compared with pre-Covid March 2019, the number of commercial flights is still lagging behind in all top-10 extra-EU countries but mainly in Norway (-34 percent), the UK (-29 percent), Israel (-28 percent), Switzerland (-24 percent), and Egypt (-19 percent).
When compared with March 2021, however, there is a clear increase in traffic in the UK (+599 percent), Norway (+375 percent), Israel (+366 percent), Morocco (+236 percent), Switzerland (+230 percent), Egypt (+192 percent), Turkey (+121 percent), and the US (+77 percent).
The report goes on to add, that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, in March 2022, commercial flights in the two countries came to a standstill: 52 in Russia and 0 in Ukraine, compared with March 2019. In March 2019, Russia welcomed 14,493 flights and Ukraine 5,414.