Airport Traffic in Europe Nearly Doubles in 2022, but Remains Behind 2019 Level

The Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe) said on Tuesday that passenger traffic at European airports nearly doubled year over year in 2022, but was still below pre-Covid levels.

With only 27% of the continent’s airports fully recovered, the ACI Europe that represents over 500 airports in 55 countries noted that passenger traffic last year increased 98% compared with 2021, reaching 1.94 billion. This was, however, 21% lower than the levels recorded in 2019, before the epidemic.

This is not yet a complete recovery. According to ACI Director General Olivier Jankovec, “European airports were still short 500 million passengers in 2022 compared to where they stood before the pandemic hit.”

He also stated that demand headwinds are “reducing slightly” due to China’s reopening, lowering recession fears in Europe, and softer inflation, which is improving the traffic outlook this year despite the uncertainties caused by the crisis in Ukraine and supply challenges from airlines’ capacity reductions during the pandemic.

The ACI names Istanbul, London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Madrid as the region’s five busiest airports, a shift from 2021 when Turkey and Russia led the list.