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ACI Europe: Greek Airports Beat 2019 Passenger Traffic Levels in Q3

Photo © Greek Travel Pages

Photo © Greek Travel Pages

Passenger traffic through airports in Greece exceeded pre-pandemic 2019 levels in the third quarter (Q3) of 2022 by 4.8 percent demonstrating a strong dynamic, according to data released by airport trade body ACI Europe this week.

According to ACI Europe’s airport traffic report for Q3 and September 2022, overall passenger traffic across the European airport network increased by 62 percent in Q3 compared to the same period in 2021 driven in large part by international passenger traffic (85 percent). Domestic passenger traffic (+13 percent) expanded at slower pace.

EU airports led the recovery with Q3 passenger traffic up by 74 percent against the same period last year. The region’s best-performing airports were those in the UK (+202 percent), Finland (+194 percent) and Ireland (+188 percent). However, EU airport activity is still down by 13 percent when compared to 2019.

Airports in Greece, Luxembourg (+3.3 percent) and Iceland (+1 percent) were the only ones in the EU to outdo 2019 passenger volumes this year.

Compared to 2019 levels, Q3 passenger traffic was still down by 12 percent but much better that Q2 (-17 percent) and Q1 (-39 percent).

Passenger traffic at Top 5 European airports

Meanwhile, passenger traffic at Europe’s Top 5 airports increased by 79.4 percent in Q3 compared to the same period in 2021 but was down by 16.9 percent on Q3 2019 levels.

Source: ACI Europe.

Istanbul was the busiest European airport and the only major hub whose passenger volumes exceeded pre-pandemic (Q3 2019) levels at +3 percent while passenger traffic increased by nearly 56.1 percent when compared to Q3 2021. London-Heathrow (+187.1 percent) came second and Paris-CDG (83 percent) third.

ACI analysts report that performance at large airports in Q3 reflected a summer recovery mainly driven by intra-European and transatlantic routes and dominated by leisure demand: Athens airport and Palma de Mallorca came closest to full recovery at -5 percent and -2.4 percent, respectively in Q3.

Greece’s smaller regional airports also performed well in Q3 with Santorini exceeding 2019 levels by 37 percent, Corfu by 19.9 percent and Chania (Crete) by 18.9 percent.

Meanwhile the airports of Athens (-5 percent), Rhodes (+7 percent), and Santorini (+37 percent) reported the highest increases in passenger traffic for Q3 2022 over Q3 2019, ACI said.

In September, passenger traffic through European airports was down by 12 percent over September 2019 while aircraft movements increased by 31 percent.

Airports in Greece achieved full recovery in August surpassing pre-pandemic  2019 levels by 4.5 percent while Athens International Airport (-6.1 percent) came closest to recouping its August 2019 passenger volumes.

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