Bratislava Airport: 405-thousand passengers in 2020. 700- to 800-thousand foreseen for 2021.
Bratislava M. R. Stefanik Airport handled a total of 405 097 passengers in the previous year. It is an 82% decrease compared to 2019 traffic results. The airport lost som 1,885-mil passengers due to pandemic travel bans and flight reductions. The volume of handled cargo, to the contrary, reached the second-best result in the airport´s history.
“The corona virus pandemic pulled the airport 18 years back. Such a low number of passengers as this year was last recorded in the year of 2002. Back then, the airport did not exist as a separate business entity, and was part of the Slovak Airport Authority, which used to govern all four international airports of the Slovak Republic,” explained CEO and Chairman of the Board of Bratislava M. R. Stefanik Airport Mr Jozef Pojedinec.
“Before the outburst of the pandemic, in the first two month of the year, the airport was still on the growth curve compared to 2019. Unfortunately, between 13th March and 17th June, commercial passenger flights were completely banned in Slovakia and the airport could only accept repatriation, cargo and general aviation flights. Until late September, landings of aircraft from risk countries continued to be banned. A short revamp of flights seen between June and September came to halt in October, when the second wave of pandemic hit our country,” continued Jozef Pojedinec.
Volume of cargo increased by 21% year on year
The amount of handled cargo reached the second-best results in airport´s history. A total of 24 739 tons of air freight were handled, which represents a 21% increase compared to the year before. The results came short on the 2017 historic record just by 1 500 tons.
Number of aircraft movements decreased by 52%
The number of aircraft movements decreased from almost 29-thousands in 2019 to less than 14-thousands in 2020. Biggest cuts were in scheduled and seasonal charter traffic (-70%), considerably smaller decrease was recorded in GABA segment (-25%), while cargo flights increased by 30%.
Most popular destinations
Most passengers travelled on flights to and from London (Stansted, Luton), followed by Dublin in Ireland and Moscow. Regrettably, despite the increasing trend before pandemic, the Moscow route has not been resumed since the March 2020 interruption up until these days, which is due to the continuous ban for tourist on both ends (in Russia and in EU).
The notorious top summer destination Antalya was not operated at all in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. Most passengers headed to Greece, while the home carrier Air Explore tried to offer at least some offset to the reduced choice of destinations in summer and opened a direct route to Split, Croatia, the only new route on offer in 2020.
The traffic outlook for 2021 remains very fragile. Despite airlines trying to get back as many routes as possible in the schedule, already the early days of 2021 prove that there will be no guarantee to any estimates. Only three scheduled routes could operate around the valid traffic bans known at the end of the year, however as early as in the first 10 days of the new year even this has changed. Currently all routes from BTS were put on hold by the airlines, first of them expected to resume mid-February, but most of them expected to come back with the start of S21 programme. Q1 results will be strongly affected.