Volumes set to hit 60% of 2019 levels in Europe this August


Flight data forecasts a strong pick up as airlines continue to expand summer schedules despite travel ban fears

Resurgent European flight volumes are on course to hit 60% of pre-Covid levels in the second half of August according to official data.

A ramp up in schedules by carriers including easyJet, Wizz Air and Jet2, is tipped to propel total flight movements past 21,000 a day for the first time since early March by EUROCONTROL.

Latest figures for 20 July showed a daily total of 14,833 flights – a 14% growth on 6 July. Traffic gains were also apparent outside of Europe with flights to the Americas, Asia and Africa all on the rise, data reported.

EURCONTROL analysis stated: “Based on the assumption that the [EU] States will continue to ease travel restrictions as announced, and due to the fact airlines started operating their revised Summer schedules, the traffic in the Network Manager Area is expected to reach up to 18,000 flights on peak days during the second half of July and gradually reach up to potentially 21,000 flights on peak days after mid‐August 2020.”

The total would equate to 60% of the 2019 traffic at the same time last summer, EUROCONTROL added. Volumes stood at 42% of last year on 20 July, the data showed. Growth had been “steady and smooth” throughout the month so far, EUORCONTROL commented.

Domestic flows within Europe continued to fuel much of the growth, data showed. Eight of the top ten highest performing routes were domestic in countries including Germany, France and Spain. Germany to Spain and the UK to Spain were the top international flows with the latter curtailed by snap quarantine restrictions unveiled by the UK government this weekend.

Ryanair was the busiest airline on 20 July with more than 1,000 flights. Turkish Airlines and easyJet completed the top three with 590 and 582 daily flights respectively according to the figures. 

Airlines to watch in August included Wizz Air with 190 additional routes planned; airBaltic with 69 routes by the end of the month; and Jet2 with 200 services restored.

Outside of Europe – North Africa recorded a 66% boost in movements with Europe owing to a restart in domestic markets like Morocco, figures showed. Traffic to North America grew 8% and Asia by 4%.

EUROCONTROL noted a “timid” recovery at New York JFK, Seattle and Los Angeles. Dallas Fort Worth and Atlanta had registered stronger traffic gains. The Chinese domestic market also showed signs of convalescence with its strongest data since January according to EUROCONTROL.