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Coronavirus: Flights in 2020 fell by 48,000

Larnaca

Flights to and from Cyprus decreased by 48,000 last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a Eurocontrol report said on Monday.

According to the pan-European organisation for aviation safety, air traffic in Cyprus decreased by 58 per cent last year, corresponding to 48,000 fewer flights (arrivals and departures).

As regards European aviation in general, traffic for 2020 closed out at minus 55 per cent of 2019 levels, Eurocontrol’s Think Tank paper 8, said.

Traffic was down in all European states, ranging between 40 per cent and 73 per cent, with the UK seeing 1.3 million flights less, a 61 per cent drop compared to 2019, followed by Germany (-1.2 million flights, -56 per cent), Spain (-1.0 million flights, -61 per cent), France (-853,000 flights, -54 per cent) and Italy (-797,000, -60 per cent).

Leading aviation groups saw their flights drop between 53 per cent and 67 per cent, it said.

“In total, 5.0 million flights operated in 2020 compared with 11.1 in 2019, a loss of 6.1 million flights,” it said, adding that these flights levels were last reached during the mid-1980s.

This meant €56.2 billion net losses for airlines, airports and air navigation service providers, 1.7 billion fewer passengers and 191,000 announced direct job losses in Europe.

European traffic for the whole of 2021 is expected to recover to 51 per cent of 2019 levels, with faster recovery expected from the summer onwards. A full return to 2019 levels is not expected before 2026.

The report argues that more failures can be expected in 2021, highlighting the need for financial support to the entire industry while airlines and airports need clarity on slot exemptions to plan in 2021.

All-cargo operator market was the least negatively affected, with just one per cent drop compared to 2019, while it doubled its market share from 3 per cent to 6 per cent owing to increased demand for medical supplies, food and other goods.

The report notes that with 6.1 million fewer flights operated in 2020 than in 2019, however, emissions have also declined.

 

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