European Air Traffic Continues To Rise, Beating Eurocontrol Forecast

The EU Digital COVID Certificate appears to be aiding the recovery of European air transport.
Credit: Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images

PARIS—European air traffic in the week to Aug. 1 rose 0.5% week-on-week to reach 68.3% of 2019 levels, data from network manager Eurocontrol showed.  

Airlines including Air France and Ryanair have been reporting an increase in demand in recent weeks since the EU Digital COVID Certificate was fully rolled out and after some other travel restrictions were eased. Meanwhile, Wizz Air said July 28 that it expected to operate 100% of its 2019 capacity in August. 

Eurocontrol recorded a total of 167,294 flights during the week, still a 77,472 reduction compared to the same week of 2019. Average flights per day reached 23,899. The top three carriers were Ryanair with 2,175 flights per day on average, Turkish Airlines with 1,301, and easyJet with 1,074.  

“Last week of July seeing Ryanair with most daily flights in Europe, up 10% over two weeks, Turkish Airlines second, up 1% over two weeks and easyJet posting biggest increase, up 29% over two weeks,” Eurocontrol director general Eamonn Brennan tweeted Aug. 2.  

Over July as a whole—as the EU Digital COVID Certificate came into full operation—traffic reached 65% of 2019 levels, exceeding the best-case scenario Eurocontrol set out June 1.

Eurocontrol had predicted a best-case scenario of 64% of 2019 levels for July and of 69% for August. “Let’s see how August works out. Looking good,” Brennan said.  

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.