Commercial flights see some improvement in March 2022 – Products Eurostat News
In March 2022, the number of commercial flights in the EU increased by 156% compared to March 2021. However, this remains below pre-pandemic levels (-27% compared to March 2019).
In absolute terms, the number of commercial flights stood at 389,181 in March 2022, compared to 151,986 in March 2021, 296,362 in March 2020 and 530,400 in March 2019.
The EU countries with the smallest decreases in commercial flights in March 2022 are Croatia (-6% compared to March 2019), Portugal (-8%) and Greece (-12%). On the other hand, thefts decreased the most in Slovenia (-56%), Sweden (-45%), Latvia (-43%), Czechia (-42%) and Finland (-41%).
Source dataset: avia_tf_cm
On the road to recovery: the top 10 extra-EU countries
Since 2019, the impact of COVID-19 on commercial flight traffic between the EU and its 10 largest extra-EU countries (based on 2019 annual data) is clear: UK, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Russia, Norway, Morocco, Israel, Ukraine and Egypt.
After the unprecedented declines in April and May 2020, following the lockdowns put in place in the EU and the rest of the world, the number of flights seemed to be on the verge of a recovery, but this quickly failed in due to the different waves of COVID-19. June 2021 marked the start of an increase in the number of flights with the top 10 extra-EU countries, but still below 2019 levels.
Compared to March 2019, commercial flights in 2022 remain below pre-pandemic levels with all top 10 extra-EU countries, notably with Norway (-34%), UK (-29%) , Israel (-28%), Switzerland (-24%) and Egypt (-19%). However, compared to March 2021, there is a clear increase in traffic with eight countries: United Kingdom (+599%), Norway (+375%), Israel (+366%), Morocco (+236%), Switzerland (+230%), Egypt (+192%), Turkey (+121%) and the United States (+77%).
Due to the ongoing conflict, in March 2022 commercial flights with Russia and Ukraine stopped: there were 52 flights with Russia and zero with Ukraine, compared to March 2019. In March 2019, before the pandemic hit, there were 14,493 flights with Russia and 5,414 with Ukraine. By 2021, those numbers had fallen by 77% for Russia and 71% for Ukraine.
Source dataset: Extraction of special data from Eurocontrol
For more information:
- The source of this monthly commercial flight data is Eurocontrol, a pan-European civil-military organization dedicated to supporting European aviation. Commercial flight data includes scheduled and non-scheduled commercial flights (passengers, cargo and mail) conducted under instrument flight rules (IFR). For more information, refer to the methodological file.
- Attention should be paid to methodological differences when comparing these monthly data with Eurostat data on air transport of passengers, cargo and mail collected under Regulation 437/2003. For more information on Eurostat’s data collection, please refer to this methodological file.
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