Olivier Jankovec, director general of Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, which represents 500 entities from 46 countries, said at the entity’s 30th congress and annual assembly that European airports have so far lost 1.5 billion passengers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They have also reduced their operating costs by three billion euros and stopped investments of 2.6 billion euros.
Airports in the EU, EEA, Switzerland and the UK are currently seeing passenger traffic decreasing by an average of 86% compared to last year.
“These airports are bracing with an accelerating downward trend in passenger traffic,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE. “Airlines continue to cut back planned capacity in response to the further extension of local lockdowns in many countries – which are only adding further pain to the one already inflicted by severe cross border travel restrictions. As things stand, passenger traffic is heading back towards another full collapse similar to the one experienced in second quarter, when volumes were down by 96%.”
Passenger traffic in the rest of Europe remains somehow more resilient, currently decreasing by 59%, a rate that appears to be fairly stable at the moment. Airports in Russia and Turkey are clearly outperforming other markets, due to the relative dynamism of their domestic market.
Disruption Highlighted in Airport Ranking Reversal
This situation has turned the top 10 European airport league upside down. In September, the busiest European airport was Antalya with just 2.25 million passengers (-53.5%), followed by Moscow-Sheremetyevo (-53.5%), Moscow-Domodedovo (-26.2%) and Istanbul (-71%).
London-Heathrow, which normally holds the top position only ranked 10th, behind Paris-CDG (8th) and Amsterdam-Schiphol (9th) – with these major hubs also being surpassed by Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen (5th), Moscow-Vnukovo (6th) and Saint Petersburg (7th). Other major hubs like Frankfurt and Munich did not even make it to the top 10 league.