THE passenger traffic in the European airports should return next year to its activity levels before the Covid pandemicestimated ACI-Europewhich brings together European airports.
Taking stock of the good performance of passenger traffic over the summer and the continued resilience of demand, ACI-Europe now predicts that the passenger traffic in 2023 will reach 95.5% volumes before the pandemic (2019), compared to 91% in its previous forecast (December 2022). And this “despite persistent inflationary pressures, ever-higher airfares and increased geopolitical tensions“.
The association now announces a complete recovery of passenger traffic in Europe by 2024, compared to its previous forecast which anticipated it for 2025. As a result, passenger traffic at European airports is expected to be +1.4% compared to pre-pandemic levels (2019) in 2024 (at instead of -2% according to previous forecasts). Furthermore, by 2027 it will rise to +9.2% compared to pre-pandemic levels (2019).
However, ACI EUROPE has warned that behind these network-wide figures, airports across Europe will continue to report significant variations in their passenger traffic performance – at least in the medium term.
“What we’re seeing is that not all airports are recovering at the same pace. While almost 50% of European airports have now exceeded their pre-pandemic passenger volumes – some even experiencing exponential growth – all others remain below, with some still struggling to recover more dynamically. This means many airports may not return to pre-pandemic volumes until 2026 or even later“, explains Olivier Jankovec, general director of ACI-Europe.
According to the association, the importance of demand for leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives (VFR), as well as the strength of international intra-European and transatlantic demand are among the structural changes in the European market . “These two factors determine the evolution of air transport networks, to the great benefit of airports serving popular tourist destinations or communities with large diasporas.“, announces ACI-Europe in its analysis.
“The remarkable but selective expansion of ultra-low-cost carriers and the relative retreat of full-service airlines, with the notable exception of Turkish Airlines. This tends to favor secondary and regional airports rather than large hubs,” she concludes.