Greece is one of only five national markets that have managed to exceed pre-Covid 2019 connectivity levels, according to the latest edition of the Airport Industry Connectivity Report, presented by ACI Europe on the eve of its 33rd annual congress and general assembly.
Air connectivity in Greece is currently at 4 percent above 2019 levels. The other four national markets surpassing pre-pandemic connectivity levels were Turkey (+19 percent), Cyprus (+17 percent), Bosnia-Herzegovina (+8 percent), and Albania (+7 percent).
Additionally, the report also found that a handful of individual airports – smaller and niche hubs including Athens International Airport (AIA) – managed to outdo 2019 connectivity levels. These are Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen (+37 percent), Athens (+33 percent), Lisbon (+4 percent) and Dublin (+3 percent).
According to report analysts, air connectivity is still slow compared to recovering passenger volumes impacting the aviation market and affecting mobility needs of passengers and communities.
ACI Europe said that total air connectivity has still not recovered more than three years after the pandemic began. Total air connectivity in Europe which includes both direct and indirect connectivity is still down by 16 percent compared to 2019 levels thus providing travelers from European airports with fewer options. At the same time, the increase in air fares is more than six times above consumer price inflation.
European passenger traffic is currently at -7.6 percent against pre-pandemic levels. The highest level of global connectivity is seen in Frankfurt despite being 23 percent below 2019 levels, followed by Istanbul (+31 percent) and Dallas Fort Worth (-19 percent).
On the downside, Helsinki (-61 percent) and Rome-Fiumicino (-60 percent) have both seen their hub connectivity levels shrink since the outbreak of Covid-19. Losses have also been reported at Stockholm-Arlanda (-54 percent), Warsaw (-43 percent), Brussels (-40 percent) and Munich (-37 percent).
“The Covid-19 pandemic, along with much increased geopolitical tensions – in particular the war in Ukraine – have clearly challenged the resilience of air connectivity,” said Olivier Jankovec, director general ACI Europe.
Jankovec confirmed that air connectivity in Europe was lagging behind traffic volumes.