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March flights 17% fewer than pre-pandemic levels

Larnaca airport

The number of commercial flights to and from Cyprus in March 2022 were 17 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to data released by Eurostat.

The decline for Cyprus was softer than the EU average of a 27 per cent drop in commercial flights – comparing March of this year to March of 2019.

At the same time, the data supplied by Eurocontrol showed that the number of flights in the EU as a whole increased by 156 per cent compared with March 2021.

In absolute terms, the number of commercial flights stood at 389,181 in March 2022, compared with 151,986 in March 2021, 296,362 in March 2020, and 530,400 in March 2019.

The EU countries with the lowest decreases in commercial flights in March 2022 were Croatia (-6 percent compared with March 2019), Portugal (-8 per cent) and Greece (-12 per cent).

In contrast, flights decreased the most in Slovenia (-56 per cent), Sweden (-45 per cent), Latvia (-43 per cent), the Czech Republic (-42 per cent) and Finland (-41 per cent).

“Since 2019,” read the Eurostat press release, “the impact Covid-19 has had on commercial flights traffic between the EU and its 10 biggest extra-EU countries (based on 2019 annual data) has been clear: UK, Switzerland, Turkey, U.S., Russia, Norway, Morocco, Israel, Ukraine and Egypt.

“After the unprecedented drops in April and May 2020, following lockdowns implemented across the EU and the rest of the world, flight numbers seemed to be on the way to recovery but that soon failed due to the different Covid-19 waves. June of 2021 marked the beginning of an increased number of flights with the top 10 extra-EU countries but still below 2019 levels. ”

Eurostat said that due to the ongoing conflict, in March 2022, commercials flights with Russia and Ukraine came to a standstill: there were 52 flights with Russia and zero with Ukraine, compared with March 2019. In March 2019, before the pandemic hit, there were 14,493 flights with Russia and 5,414 with Ukraine. In 2021, those numbers had decreased 77 per cent for Russia and 71 per cent for Ukraine.

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