Europe’s Airlines Eye Near Full Traffic Restoration By Summer

The continent’s airlines continue to see gradual improvement in traffic figures.

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European air traffic continued to edge higher in the week to April 17, Eurocontrol statistics showed, with a 1.4% increase compared to the previous week.  

“Week 15 [of 2022] saw continued growth up to 24,534 flights/day–82.1% of the 2019 level–despite a drop over the Easter weekend,” Eurocontrol Director General Eamonn Brennan wrote on Twitter April 18.  

Ryanair was the busiest airline with 2,773 flights per day on average, with EasyJet number two with 1,527 daily flights and Lufthansa third at 1,144 daily flights.  

European airlines are hoping for traffic to recover to close to 2019 levels by the peak summer season.  

Eurocontrol said earlier this month that it expected traffic to recover to 89% of 2019 levels by August, rising to 92% by year-end, with a total of around 9.3 million flights throughout Europe in the full year 2022. However, it warned that continuing geopolitical tensions affecting fuel prices and economic conditions, as well as the possibility of new COVID-19 variants, could pose downside risks. Staff shortages at many airports could also have an impact on the recovery, it said.

Separately, Air Austral, which is based on the French island of Reunion (RUN) in the Indian Ocean, said it was restarting seasonal 2X-weekly RUN-Bangkok (BKK) flights from July 2 to August 21 using a Boeing 787-8.