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ACI Europe: Airports in Greece Achieve Full Recovery in July

Airports in Greece, in destinations such as Santorini, Crete, Corfu and Rhodes, have recouped Covid-19 losses fully recovering in July as EU passenger traffic doubles year on year, said ACI Europe this week.

According to the European airport trade body’s report, passenger traffic across the European airport network rose by 70.4 percent in July compared to the same month last year driven by international traffic which was up by 102.5 percent but still down by 14.4 percent over the same month in pre-Covid 2019.

Echoing Eurostat data, traffic through airports in Greece increased by 5.4 percent recording a full recovery of  2019 levels. Also making comebacks were the airports of Luxembourg (+2.2 percent) and Iceland (+1.7 percent).

Greek airports together with those in Luxembourg were the only ones in Europe to have fully recovered their pre-Covid 2019 passenger traffic volumes in June, also.

According to ACI Europe, airports reporting the highest increases in July were those of Ireland (+386.5 percent), the UK (+349.6 percent), Finland (+268.5 percent), Slovakia (+167.1 percent) and Iceland (+146.8 percent).

Good performances also came from airports in Spain (-7.9 percent), Italy (-9.6 percent), France (-13.5 percent) and the UK (-19.1 percent).

With regard to Athens International Airport (AIA), Greece’s largest airport, passenger traffic during July was just some 5 percent below the respective pre-Covid 2019 levels.

More into the data, ACI Europe said an increasing number of regional airports serving popular tourism destinations and/or relying on Low Cost Carriers saw passenger volumes well ahead of pre-pandemic (July 2019) levels, including Zadar (+60.5 percent), Tirana (+57.6 percent) and Figari (+33.3 percent).

Greek regional airports

Photo © GTP

According to ACI Europe’s data, Greek regional airports that saw their passenger traffic exceed July 2019 levels were Santorini (+37.5 percent), Chania (+21.8 percent), Corfu (+21.2 percent), Rhodes, (+11 percent) and Heraklion (+6 percent).

“The EU+ market has been very much driving recovery and traffic volumes are finally getting closer to pre-pandemic levels,” said Olivier Jankovec, director general ACI Europe.

“July has kept delivering a much needed boost in passenger traffic for most of Europe’s airports, driven by revenge – and still predominantly leisure – travel, as well as ultra-low cost carriers expanding capacity well above pre-pandemic levels,” he said, adding that it was now essential that the EU bring its airport slot rules “back to normal” which would mean requiring airlines to effectively use these slots for 80 percent of the time in winter.

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