Greece is the only country in Europe on the road to full post-COVID-19 recovery of its total and direct air connectivity, according to the Airport Industry Connectivity Report for 2022 released recently by ACI Europe, the trade association of Europe’s airports.
The ACI report says that more than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic—and despite an upsurge in passenger volumes this summer—total air connectivity across the European airport network still remains 29 percent below pre-pandemic (2019) levels.
Greece achieves full recovery in air connectivity
However, this hides significant divergences between national markets, with Greece being the only country having now achieved a full recovery in its air connectivity, closely followed by Turkey (-3%).
Amongst larger EU+ markets, Spain (-23%) is best performing, followed by the UK (-28%), Italy (-32%), and France (-34%). Germany (-39%) comes in last.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ukraine has lost all of its air connectivity while Russia’s (-62%) and Belarus’ (-78%) air connectivity have clearly been hit by international sanctions.
Athens is close to recovering 2019 air connectivity
The report says that Athens is also very close to recovering its direct connectivity levels compared to 2019 just down by 6 percent.
Ahead in terms of direct connectivity is Amsterdam Schiphol (-10 percent), Istanbul (-5 percent), and London Heathrow (-13 percent), as well as Lisbon (-4 percent), Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (-6 percent), London Gatwick (-8 percent), and Dublin (-7 percent).
The ACI report notes that while direct connectivity is finally getting closer to pre-pandemic levels at -15 percent, indirect connectivity and hub connectivity still stand behind at -36 percent and -34 percent, respectively.
“More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite an upsurge in passenger volumes this summer, total air connectivity across the European airport network still remains -29 percent below pre-pandemic (2019) levels,” it was established.
“This means as of June 2022, air connectivity in Europe is back to where it was in 2009 when the Great Recession hit,” ACI said.