According to the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat, the number of commercial flights within the EU grew this summer compared to the previous year, although it is still lower than before the pandemic in 2019.
The number of commercial flights in the EU was below 2019 levels from June to September, according to a report published by the EU’s statistical office Eurostat.
In September, 605,806 commercial flights were registered in the EU. This is 7.9 percent more than in the same period last year. However, this figure is 8.9 percent less than the number of flights in September 2019.
June, July and August also saw notable improvement with commercial flights increasing compared to the same months in 2022. In June, traffic figures were 6.9 percent higher; in July figures were 7.4 percent higher, while August figures were 6.6 percent higher. However, the numbers are still below the level before the pandemic.
Six EU countries registered more traffic in September than in 2019 – Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Croatia and Malta, as well as Ireland.
Eurostat data shows that Greece leads with an increase of 10.9 percent, followed by Portugal with 9.0 percent, Cyprus with 5.9 percent, Croatia with 2.6 percent, Ireland with 1.4 percent and Malta with a increase of 0.7 percent.
In contrast to the countries that have surpassed or almost reached their traffic levels as of 2019, several countries are still quite far from reaching these figures.
In Finland, Estonia and Latvia, which border Russia, traffic fell by more than 25 percent. Latvia sees a notable decrease of 30.4 percent, Finland a decrease of 30.2 percent, Estonia a decrease of 25.4 percent, Sweden a decrease of 24.1 percent and Slovenia a decrease of 22.9 percent.
The European Airports Association ACI Europe expects full recovery in the coming year.
Commercial airlines’ continued struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels is not a new problem.
Eurostat has expressed similar concerns in the past and the aviation industry has been dealing with this issue for a long time. Achieving the same traffic figures as 2019 remains a significant and lasting challenge for the industry.
According to Eurostat, commercial aviation includes mail, cargo and passenger flights.