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ACI Europe: July Passenger Traffic Hits 97% of Pre-pandemic Levels

Portugal airport

The Airports Council International (ACI Europe) traffic recent report revealed that passenger traffic in Europe for July 2023 has surged to 97 per cent of its pre-pandemic levels.

According to the same source, passenger volumes within the European airport network for July decreased by only three per cent compared to July 2019, marking a significant increase compared to June, which showed a decrease of -5.9 per cent compared to June 2019, reports.

Data provided by ACI Europe also show that compared to July 2022, there was also an increase of +12.8 per cent in passenger traffic.

As the authority points out, during July 2023 in the EU+ market, passenger traffic was recorded at -4.3 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels in July 2019 and showed an increase of +12.7 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Among the airports that exceeded their pre-pandemic levels in July of this year are the following:

  • Iceland (+16.2 per cent)
  • Croatia (+15.7 per cent)
  • Greece (+14.8 per cent)
  • Portugal (+10.5 per cent)
  • Luxembourg (+10.5 per cent)
  • Poland (+7.1 per cent)
  • Malta (+6.3 per cent)
  • Cyprus (+3 per cent)
  • Italy (+2.3 per cent)
  • Spain (+1.3 per cent)
  • Ireland (+0.6 per cent)

German Airports Lag Behind in Their Journey Towards Recovery

On the other hand, airports in Finland (-31 per cent), Slovenia (-27.4 per cent), Bulgaria (-22.9 per cent), Germany (-19.2 per cent) and Sweden (-17.9 per cent) continued to lag in their journey for full recovery of passenger traffic. German airports, in particular, were the weakest performers among the largest markets, while United Kingdom airports (-4.7 per cent) experienced almost a complete comeback, closely followed by those in France (-6.6 per cent).

Meanwhile, airports in the rest of Europe achieved a full passenger traffic recovery in July, exceeding their pre-pandemic traffic levels by +3.7 per cent – despite losing all air traffic for Ukrainian airports. Compared to July last year, volumes in the rest of Europe increased by +13.4 per cent.

ACI Europe

Drop in Passenger Traffic at 5 Main Airports

In July, passenger traffic at the five main European airports decreased by -4.3 per cent compared to July 2019, mainly due to reduced capacity by hub carriers and the slow recovery of demand from China.

However, compared to July 2022, there was an increase in passenger volume, increasing by +15.1 per cent, driven in large part by transatlantic solid demand.

Further ACI data also reveals that among these airports, London Heathrow managed to maintain its position as the busiest in Europe, with only a slight drop of -1.2 per cent, approaching a full recovery. At the same time, Istanbul experienced a growth of +16.5 per cent, surpassing its pre-pandemic passenger levels and securing second place among the Majors.

Following Istanbul’s success, there were notable declines in passenger numbers at other major European airports, including Paris-CDG (-11.5 per cent), Frankfurt (-13.1 per cent), and Amsterdam-Schiphol (-10.6 per cent).