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15th Eurocontrol Think Paper: Analysis of Traffic Data in 2021 and Outlook for 2022

The 15th Eurocontrol Think Paper issued on 1st January 2022 provided an authoritative summary of all the key indicators for the European aviation industry in 2021 and expectations about how the recovery will continue in 2022.

The paper shows how the recovery of the sector in Europe has been partial but stable during 2021, starting from 36% compared to the traffic figures recorded in January 2019to 70% at the end of August, mainly thanks to mass vaccinations and the European Union’s Green Pass digital certificate, with a further traffic increasing up to 81% registered at the end of October.

In the last quarter of 2021, the evolving “Omicron” variant situation forced many of Europe’s major airlines to reduce their flight capacity in January 2022 by up to 30% as well as cancelling numerous flights due to shortages of pilots and flight crews who had tested positive for Covid-19.

Nevertheless, the study conducted by Eurocontrol does not expect the substantial increase recorded last year to be reduced in 2022. On the contrary, it is estimated that traffic will still be on track to recover to 70-90% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

This article was originally published by Francesco Paolo Ballirano of Studio Pierallini in Aviation Journal, January 2022, no. 1.

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