Air traffic in Europe is expected to recover 95 percent of pre-pandemic 2019 levels by August 2023, said aviation experts Eurocontrol, adding that November had already recouped 86 percent of 2019 levels.
According to the association’s traffic scenarios for the December 2022- August 2023 period, steady growth is expected into the new year. Eurocontrol revised its previous estimates, which included a base forecast for 2023 of 92 percent of 2019 traffic (10.2 million flights).
Overall, Eurocontrol said, traffic has remained below the base scenario released in April since the start of the winter season.
Looking ahead, analysts note that while recovery is expected to continue, the market appears to be cautious. More specifically, Eurocontrol’s low scenario sees the airline industry recovering 87 percent of 2019 levels by August 2023; the base scenario expects the industry to recover to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels by August 2023; and the high outlook forecasts full industry recovery in May 2023, with aviation growth rates reaching 105 percent of 2019 levels in August next year.
Eurocontrol concludes that downside risks remain including unstable economic conditions, fuel prices and staff shortages.
The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, commonly known as Eurocontrol, is an international body that works to achieve safe and seamless air traffic management across Europe.