Eurocontrol sees European air travel starting to recover

(Photo: Adrian Pingstone / Wikimedia Commons)

Eurocontrol, the pan-European air traffic safety organisation has released figures showing that the number of daily flights in Europe edged above 6,000 on Tuesday June 2, 2020. It was the first time that figure had been achieved since March 24, and the numbers remained at that level for four days. Across the whole week of June 1-7, flights were up by an average of 675 per day on the previous week, representing rise of 13%.

Eurocontrol said 6,103 flights took place on Tuesday June 2, 2020, which represented a decrease of 82.4% compared to the 34,090 flights on the equivalent day in 2019. The rest of the week also recorded flights numbers in excess of 6,000, with 6,610 on Wednesday June 3; – 6,822 on Thursday June 4 and 6,727 on Friday June 5.

According to the Eurocontrol Network Manager Recovery Plan published on June 4, this growth is set to continue with 9,000 flights a day expected in the second half of June and up to 10,500 flights a day in the first weeks of July.

Eamonn Brennan, director general, Eurocontrol, commented: “Announcements by a large number of European countries about the opening of the internal Schengen borders by mid-June followed by wider openings in early July have given confidence to airlines to operate throughout the network and to passengers to book flights.

“The focus must now be on supporting this return to growth with coordinated and consistent measures across Europe which according to our analysis could allow us to return to 80% of expected traffic by the end of the year.”

According to a Eurocontrol analysis, if operational procedures and national restrictions were fully coordinated fully across Europe, July could see 32% of flights resuming with 50% by August. However, if measures are uncoordinated, these numbers will be much lower.