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Passenger Traffic Closer to Full Recovery  from the Pandemic in 2023, Report Shows

The latest air traffic report for April 2023, published by the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), shows that passenger traffic quite well approached the pre-pandemic levels, marking a significant recovery in April this year.

As a result, during this period, passenger traffic in the network of European airports increased by +21.1 per cent compared to April 2022, reports.

According to ACI Europe figures, compared to pre-pandemic levels, volumes in April this year stood at -7.6 per cent – a further improvement compared to the first quarter of 2023, which was at -10.6 per cent.

During April 2023, EU+2 airports also saw an increase in passenger traffic by +19.1 per cent compared to the same month last year, thus marking an increase in volumes up to -8.1 per cent below their pre-pandemic levels.

Among the airports that exceeded their pre-pandemic volumes with good results are the following:

  • Iceland (+14.5 per cent)
  • Cyprus (+11.9 per cent)
  • Greece (+11 per cent)
  • Portugal (+10.7 per cent)
  • Bulgaria (+8.7 per cent)
  • Malta (+8.4 per cent)

As for airports in Slovenia (-39.8 per cent), Germany (-26.1 per cent), Slovakia (-25.9 per cent) and the Czech Republic (-23.7 per cent), they remained the furthest from a complete recovery.

The excellent performance of the largest markets was driven by leisure and the increasing fame of the ultra-low-cost carrier markets – with airports in Spain (+2.7 per cent) and Italy (one per cent) achieving a full recovery, followed by those in the United Kingdom (-9.3 per cent), France (-12.8 per cent).

At the same time, passenger traffic also increased at airports in the rest of Europe by +35.3 per cent in April compared to the same month last year, resulting in volumes only -4.1 per cent below April 2019 levels.

Moreover, during April of this year, passenger traffic at the five main European airports increased by +23.4 per cent compared to the same month last year. On the other hand, volumes remained -9.8 per cent below pre-pandemic levels due to lower central carrier capacity deployment and the low impact of China’s reopening.

London-Heathrow led the top five European airports in April by welcoming 6.4 million passengers. This figure shows an increase of +25.9 per cent compared to the same month last year and a decrease of -5.9 per cent compared to 2019.

In second place came Istanbul, with an increase of +34.3 per cent in passenger traffic compared to April 2022 and an impressive +10.8 per cent over pre-pandemic levels. The Turkish hub was followed by Paris-CDG with +19.3 per cent over April 2022 and -15.5 per cent in comparison with April 2019.

Amsterdam-Schiphol was +15.6 per cent over April 2022 or -16 per cent over pre-pandemic, while Madrid with +20.6 per cent over April 2019 or -3.5 per cent over pre-pandemic.