10
Aug

European capacity may have grown in Jun-2020, but a European aviation body warns that the recovery in passenger traffic is ‘proceeding at a slower pace’ than it had projected

Many argue that the corporate travel sector is the lifeblood of the air transport industry. For some airlines and on some routes that is fairly accurate, but right now the first stage in the recovery of the air transport industry is being supported predominantly by leisure and VFR flows.

The Blue Swan Daily analysis of OAG flight schedules each week highlights a notable resumption of flight capacity over Jun-2020 and Jul-2020, albeit still at levels well down on last year and heavily weighted to the domestic markets where there is increased freedom to travel. But, concern has remained that just because flight options are available, it doesn’t mean demand will automatically follow.

While we have seen an upturn in demand, the ‘build it and they will come’ principle appears to have too many external factors impacting its delivery. This past week the European section of Airports Council International (ACI), the industry body that supports the airport sector, has warned that the return of travel demand has not been at the pace it expected despite the return of air services.

ACI Europe says passenger traffic across the European airport network still stood at -93% in Jun-2020 compared to the same period last year – a marginal improvement over the previous month (May 2020: -98%). Europe’s airports welcomed only 16.8 million passengers through their doors in Jun-2020, compared to 240 million in the same month last year.

Looking at the positives, the improvement over the preceding month reflects the progressive lifting of travel restrictions within the EU and Schengen area. As a result, the European airport network saw daily passenger volumes increasing nearly threefold from 267,000 passengers at the start of the month to 757,000 passengers at the end – But this is still a far cry from last year’s daily average of eight million in the same month.

READ MORE via The Blue Swan DailyEuropean capacity may have grown in Jun-2020, but a European aviation body warns that the recovery in passenger traffic is ‘proceeding at a slower pace’ than it had projected