MADRID – The pandemic has severely affected aviation, with 6,000 flight connections in Europe ‘disappearing’ since the COVID-19 outbreak.
For the time being, these will simply not be restored without European aid and cooperation. The Spanish airport Madrid-Barajas appears to be the biggest loser, according to a report on the European aviation industry from the international airport organization ACI.
Spanish airport biggest loser of all
According to ACI Europe, these are the biggest losers in Europe: Madrid-Barajas (-71%), Rome-Fiumicino (-70%), Munich (-68%), London-Heathrow (-68%) and Frankfurt (-67%).
Olivier Jankovec, director of ACI Europe, says the damage is so significant that he is not relying on a natural recovery of the market to restore the flight connections. “The EU and all European governments must act to get the aviation industry up and running soon,” said Jankovec.
Cause and effect
Since March airlines have decided to no longer offer a number of routes because there is little demand and it is no longer profitable to continue with them. It’s not only airlines that are affected. The cancellation of routes affects the entire tourism sector. Travellers have fewer options to travel to specific destinations. Hotel owners, for example, depend on these air connections and are suffering as a result.
Jankovec: “Aviation is the economic engine and air connections are an essential part of our society. Every 10 percent increase in air connections yields a 0.5 percent increase in GDP per capita. It is what keeps Europe together and makes economic development possible. ”
Crisis in the aviation sector
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, commercial aviation has suffered. In the summer months of July, August and September, Spanish airports experienced a historic low. Comparison with the same months in 2019, shows a decrease in passenger numbers of 75 percent.