EUROCONTROL updated forecasts project traffic wont fully recover until 2024/2025

    EUROCONTROL issued (21-May-2021) an updated four year forecast looking at the possible evolution of domestic and international air traffic in Europe, taking into account the expected evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report’s key finding is that traffic is not expected to reach 2019 levels until 2024 at the earliest. Other highlights include:

    • Base case: 2024 traffic recovers to 95% of the 2019 figure based on widespread vaccination take-up across Europe and coordinated easing of travel restraints being reached by 1Q2022 between global regions, with more long haul flows starting to return;
    • Optimistic case: Traffic returns to 2019 levels by 2024, assuming widespread vaccination take-up across the European network by summer 2021 coupled with a coordinated easing of travel restraints, and the resumption of a few long haul flows. This scenario is aligned with the airlines’ plans for the summer months built on the pent-up demand effect, particularly for the VFR market. However, this scenario is considered optimistic given the current state of vaccine rollout progress, with a coordinated approach across EU states less likely to be reached in the coming months;
    • Pessimistic case: Traffic in 2024 will only reach 74% of the 2019 figure, with a full recovery not before 2029. This scenario envisages persistent restrictions over the coming years owing to patchy vaccine uptakes and/or renewed outbreaks of new virus strains, with passenger confidence negatively impacted. [more – original PR]
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