European air travel – recovery starts to take shape

- Brussels, Belgium.

Numbers of daily flights in Europe edged above 6,000 on Tuesday 2 June 2020 for the first time since 24 March, and remained there for 4 days, showing that the recovery in air travel is getting underway. Across the whole of the week 1-7 June, flights were up by 675 on average per day on the previous week, a growth of 13%.

Tuesday 2 June 2020 saw 6,013 flights, a decrease of 82.4% on the 34,090 flights on the equivalent day in 2019. The rest of the week also saw flights above 6,000: Wednesday 3 June - 6,610 flights, Thursday 4 June - 6,822 flights and Friday 5 June - 6,727 flights. According to the EUROCONTROL Network Manager Recovery Plan published on 4 June 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.

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,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General, EUROCONTROL. “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.

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