Published on August 14th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


Eurocontrol Reports Strong Rebound in Air Traffic

Provisional air traffic figures from Eurocontrol have indicated a strong rebound in air traffic in Europe over the last few weeks. In their traffic forecasts for the remainder of 2021 published on 1st June, the organisation forecasted in the best-case scenario that traffic for July would be 64% of 2019 figures. That forecast was very accurate with 65% achieved and so far for August, traffic is running 1% ahead of expectation at 70%.

Overall flight numbers are still 30% below those seen in 2019 however some airlines are much closer to 2019 numbers. Wizzair leads the market with just a 7% reduction in flights, followed by Pegasus at 8%, and Ryanair and Turkish at 15%. SAS and Lufthansa are the hardest hit with 60% and 50% fewer flights respectively. It’s worth noting that these figures refer to flights and not passenger numbers which are still significantly below 2019. Even still, the strong rebound in flight numbers has to be seen as a good thing.

23,515 flights were operated on Wednesday 11th August 2021, a 2% increase over the preceding 2 weeks. Ryanair, the busiest operator, added the most capacity over two weeks with 174 extra flights, followed by easyJet with 109 and Vueling with 56. Spain saw the largest number of departing and arriving flights followed by Germany and France.

By comparison, on the 10th August, US passenger airline departures were 19% below 2019 levels with domestic down 17% and international down 35%. The domestic US load factor of 89% has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Read the full report from Eurocontrol here.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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