BTN Europe - Rob Gill

The recovery in airline traffic in Europe “paused” in October with just over one-third of the continent’s airports now back to or above pre-Covid passenger numbers.

Figures from airports association ACI Europe showed that the month’s traffic was still 12 per cent lower than October 2019, despite seeing a 40 per cent rise compared with October 2021.

The recovery to 88 per cent of pre-Covid traffic in October matched September’s figure and was the first time since the spring that there was not a month-on-month improvement, indicating that the pace of recovery has “stalled”.

Airports in Iceland, Greece and Portugal saw traffic achieve or exceed pre-Covid levels in October, while Spain, Ireland and Italy were among those markets to come close to a full recovery during the month.

The picture is far less rosy for airports in the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden, which “significantly underperformed” pre-pandemic numbers, mainly due to the war in Ukraine and weaker airline sectors.

Europe’s major hub airports continue to lag their regional counterparts in their speed of recovery, with collective October traffic down 17 per cent on pre-Covid figures, according to ACI Europe.

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