Although passenger traffic at Athens International Airport (AIA) for the first quarter of 2022 was marked by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now clear that it is getting closer and closer to the figures of 2019, Greek tourism’s record year.
According to data released by AIA, passenger traffic during the 11-month period of January – November exceeded 21.1 million, compared to 23.9 million in 2019, down by 11.7 percent.
As seen on AIA’s passenger development table for 2022, domestic traffic is gradually stabilizing, with November being the third month in a row to end with a clear upward trend. Accordingly, international traffic still lags behind 2019 figures.
More specifically, the data released by the airport for November shows that domestic passengers increased by 4.1 percent while international travelers recorded a drop of 7.7 percent, a greater percentage compared to October, when they decreased by 2.6 percent.
Having welcomed some 1.6 million passengers in November, AIA’s traffic was down by only 4.2 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Overall, during the first eleven months of 2022, the airport totalled 21.14 million, below the respective 2019 levels by 11.7 percent
Domestic traffic exceeded 6.8 million compared to 7.2 million in the corresponding period of 2019, with the decrease amounting to 5.5 percent.
Accordingly, during the January-November 2022 period, international traffic exceeded 14.2 million from 16.7 million in 2019, down by 14.4 percent.
AIA’s number of flights during the first eleven months of the year amounted to 198,770, recording a decrease of 5.8 percent below the respective 2019 levels. Domestic flights surpassed 2019 levels by 2.3 percent, while international operations lagged behind by 11.7 percent.
In November alone, flights recorded a decrease of 1 percent, with domestic flights up by 9 percent compared to 2019, marking the best percentage performance since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the contrary, international flights that month dropped by 7.6 percent compared to the respective 2019 levels.
In any case, early signs for 2023 are encouraging, according to Athens International Airport (AIA) Director of Communications & Marketing Ioanna Papadopoulou.
During a recent media event, Papadopoulou said airlines appear more willing to add more flights to Athens in 2023 than they did in 2022, despite the economic environment that has taken shape and may affect demand.
“We are all concerned about the demand for air travel… We wonder how inflation, energy costs, household disposable income and geopolitical developments will affect demand,” she said.
Papadopoulou underlined that a recession in demand was expected this past October, but so far “nothing like that” has occurred.
“Demand is at good levels and we are waiting to see how the winter season will develop,” she said.