According to AIA’s final numbers for the year 2022, the country’s largest airport managed to cover a great part of losses in terms of passenger traffic. However, travel restrictions in force during the beginning of the year and the lack of important markets for Greek tourism such as China, Russia and Ukraine has left a damper on the airport’s final numbers.
Overall, the year 2022 ended with AIA’s traffic amounting to 22.7 million passengers (domestic and international), exceeding the respective 2021 levels by 84.1 percent but behind 2019 levels.
“This is 11 percent shy of the numbers of 2019… However, it was an increase of 84 percent vs the previous year, 2021,” AIA Director of Communications & Marketing Ioanna Papadopoulou said during a recent media event while giving the overall scene on the way traffic developed in 2022.
AIA’s flights, for the year 2022 overall, amounted to 213 thousand, up by 34.2 percent vs 2021.
“Flights last year demonstrated just a decline of some 5 percent only compared to 2019 levels… This is very important for the restoration, for the recovery, of the network overall,” Papadopoulou added.
Both domestic and international flights surpassed 2021 levels by 30.9 percent and 37.1 percent, respectively. Domestic operations also exceeded the 2019 levels by 2.9 percent, while international services were below the 2019 levels by 11.4 percent.
AIA welcomed 15.5 million int’l passengers in 2022
In 2022 domestic passengers at AIA reached over 7.3 million and international passengers reached over 15.5 million, exceeding 2021 levels by 60.3 percent and 98.3 percent respectively. When compared to 2019 levels, domestic passengers were down by 4.7 percent and international travellers by 13.9 percent.
Commenting on the decline of international passengers at the airport last year compared to 2019, Papadopoulou reminded that during the first four and a half months of 2022, there were still travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
“So the real recovery of traffic started after mid-May at 2022,” she highlighted.
The last month of 2022 was the second best of the year, on a percentage basis, for Athens’ airport after October, which saw passenger traffic down by a mere 0.5 percent compared to 2019.
December 2022 saw a 3 percent decline in passenger traffic compared to pre-pandemic levels and amounted to 1.6 million travelers, with domestic traffic recording the highest performance in recent years, up 7.9 percent compared to 2019. Accordingly, international traffic stood at better levels compared to November, however, it remained down by 7.3 percent compared to the corresponding month of 2019.
With the launch of new routes and the return of important markets for Greece, AIA representatives are modestly optimistic for 2023.
However, uncertainties remain due to challenges on international level such as Covid-19 and the inflation crisis.