Air traffic

The recovery of European air traffic is accelerating, but threats remain

Passenger traffic at airports across Europe is recovering at a faster pace than expected, with ACI Europe (Airports Council International) on Friday revising its forecast for 2022 to 22% below 2019 levels on the the whole year, against a previous forecast of -32%. , published last October.

A full recovery in pre-pandemic volumes is now expected for 2024 rather than 2025.

However, the airport association issued a note of caution, stressing the “triple danger” of geopolitics, worsening economic conditions and the threat of new variants of Covid-19 creating significant uncertainty.

ACI Europe chief executive Olivier Jankovec said the easing of travel restrictions and pent-up demand have created an “optimistic scenario”, but that is largely fueled by leisure traffic and capacity expansion. low cost carriers.

Jankovec also stressed caution as “we still don’t have an established playbook in Europe – let alone globally – on how to handle future variants of Covid-19 when it comes to travel.”

“Beyond the immediate operational challenges of personnel issues, there is no escaping the growing geopolitical tensions and fears of stagflation, which means the risks to air traffic only go in one direction – down,” he added.

The association also urged governments and regulators to stop “squabbling over financial percentage points” in order to restore the balance sheet strength needed to avoid an airport investment crisis.