Airline industry key figures in Europe 2021

To start with, it is good news for Airline industry key figures: EU flights increased by 48% in August compared to 2020. Unfortunately, this is still lower than the number of flights in the period before covid-19.

What is the trend so far for the airline and business travel sector?

Airline industry key figures

Airline industry key figures

There is no doubt that this summer it is not only the holidaymakers who are getting some colour. Indeed, commercial flights within the European Union are coming back to life. Overall, in August 2021, 478,900 flights took off in the European Union. In other words, this is an increase of 48% compared to 2020 (Eurostat). However, this is still 31% below the level of August 2021, i.e. before the Covid-19 health crisis.

That said, fortunately the trend shows an increase in the number of flights to match the pre-Covid-19 air traffic figures. Indeed, the number of flights is less and less lower compared to 2019: in February it is 73% lower, then 67% lower in May, 54% for June and finally 31% in August.

What is the trend for autumn/winter for airplanes?

Of course, after the summer holidays, there is always a drop in flights. In concrete terms, it is a “visibility on winter and autumn […] not very great”, explains Augustin de Romanet, CEO of Aéroports de Paris.

According to the airlines Ryanair and Lufthansa it will be a “difficult” winter and “again long and cold”.

However, Air France-KLM, having lost almost 10 billion euros since the pandemic, is aiming for a less negative fourth quarter of 2021. 

As for IATA (International Air Transport Association), it predicts a return to normal not before 2023.

And what about business travel?

Overall, the key figures for the airline industry give a lot of hope, and many in the tourism sector are keen to get back on track. 

Lately, business travel has been making a gradual but real comeback since the start of September. In any case, the crisis of the covid-19 has affected everyone and more so business travel. Now, several statistics show a positive future. For example, 26% of easyJet travellers flying from France in the first week of September 2021 were business travellers (Air Journal). This is almost the same proportion as before the health crisis: 25%.

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