Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Air traffic: collapse confirmed for 2020 and aborted recovery in 2021

Written by Arthur Maffren on Tuesday, December 7th 2021 à 15:35 | Read 176 times

The air transport sector lost 73% of its passengers in Europe in 2020. 2021 will be less catastrophic, but will also remain a black year.

There will be far fewer passengers in the European sky. Photo DR
There will be far fewer passengers in the European sky. Photo DR
EUROPE. On Monday 6 December, Eurostat published the air transport statistics for European countries in 2020. As expected, the drop is brutal due to the pandemic. Overall, the number of passengers transported has collapsed by 73%. In 2021, the figures are expected to be only slightly worse, with an expected drop of 50% compared to 2019 according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
For 2020, most European countries bordering the Mediterranean show even worse results than the EU-27 average, whether they are islands or mainland countries. Thus, Slovenia saw its traffic fall by 83%, Croatia by 82%, Cyprus by 80%, Spain by 75% and Italy by 75%. France, Portugal and Serbia are on the same level of -70%, while Greece is limiting the drop to -69%.
Tourism is of course a major factor in this economic disaster, especially for the most visited Mediterranean countries. In Spain, revenues have fallen from 91 to 19 billion euros, a loss of 72 billion (-78%). France is barely better in terms of volume, with a revenue shortfall of €60 billion, i.e. a drop of 34% compared to 2019 (€180 billion). In Italy, the hole reaches €12.4 billion (€67.6 billion in 2020 against €80 billion in 2019).
Airlines are suffering from this disaffection. According to IATA, they lost more than 118 billion euros in 2020 and will have a deficit of at least 44.5 billion euros by 2021. About fifty have already closed: Flybe, Trans State Airlines, Air Namibia, Dragon Air, NokScoot, South African Airways, Comair, and many others, including Alitalia.


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