European Air Traffic Approaching Two-Thirds Of 2019 Levels

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Credit: Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images

PARIS—Air traffic in Europe is continuing to recover, with a total of 155,234 flights in the week to July 11, reaching 62.7% of 2019 traffic, according to the latest data published by network manager Eurocontrol. 

Traffic grew 5.7% week-on-week, Eurocontrol said, while Ryanair, the week’s busiest operator, operated over 1,800 flights per day on average, followed by Turkish Airlines, the second busiest operator with 1,219 daily flights on average, and Air France at 884. 

Overall traffic reached a pandemic-era high of 24,388 flights, or 66.6% of 2019 levels on July 10, Eurocontrol director general Eamonn Brennan said.  

Leisure demand is driving the increase in Europe, where COVID-19 vaccination programs have accelerated. Many travel restrictions have been loosened and the EU Digital COVID certificate aimed at smoothing travel has been operational since July 1. But the rapid rise of the Delta variant in many countries is casting doubt on how long the recovery will last.  

In its July 8 “Comprehensive Assessment” of the latest traffic data, Eurocontrol said it had observed a renewed, double-digit traffic increase since the start of July, after the first jump in early June. There had been a high increase for many states over the preceding two weeks, with flows between northwest Europe and southern Europe intensifying. Domestic flows are still dominating in terms of traffic flow, however, Eurocontrol said.  

In the week of July 1-7, Amsterdam Schiphol was the busiest airport.  

Helen Massy-Beresford

Based in Paris, Helen Massy-Beresford covers European and Middle Eastern airlines, the European Commission’s air transport policy and the air cargo industry for Aviation Week & Space Technology and Aviation Daily.