"The recovery in passenger traffic paused in October," says Aci Europe, the EU airports trade body, which publishes its monthly air traffic report.
This is "the first time since the spring that the recovery in monthly passenger traffic has stalled". Passenger traffic at European airports increased by 40% in October 2022 compared to October 2021. This increase is still largely driven by international passenger traffic (+51%), with domestic passenger traffic developing at a much slower pace (+12%).
Compared to 2019 levels, French airports (-11.2%) recovered relatively quickly, followed by UK airports (-14.4%), while German airports (-26.2%) lagged behind as budget airlines pulled back.
Only 36% of EU airports have so far recovered their pre-pandemic volumes: most of these airports are regional and small.
Aci Europe cites the war in Ukraine, the deteriorating macroeconomic situation, continued travel restrictions in parts of Asia, but also the selective expansion of capacity by low-cost carriers in Europe, as well as rapidly rising airfares and changing demand, including the growth of leisure tourism that extends tourist seasons.