Eurocontrol, the organization in charge of coordinating flights in Europe, has just published its latest bulletin on the continent’s air activity. With good news for airlines. By August, flights were back to 71% of 2019 levels across Europe. However, this average hides a wide variation between countries and also between different traffic flows for each country.

Eurocontrol had already noted that domestic flights were more resilient during the pandemic than international flights. This trend has continued and strengthened during the summer. Already in July, Turkey had exceeded its 2019 level for the number of domestic flights. Italy in turn beat this figure in August, reaching 107% of 2019 movements. France, Greece, Norway and Spain recorded between 90% and 95% of August 2019 movements. Exception for German flights, which stand out as being outpaced by other movement flows.

Eurocontrol analyzes the relative weakness of international traffic to the travel restrictions of passengers in relation to the health measures put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Relatively low international traffic

These rules continue to affect mainly international passenger flights. According to Eurocontrol’s analysis, the UK and Norway are more affected than others with the number of movements still below 50% of 2019 traffic. The main holiday destinations, on the other hand, have seen a rapid recovery in July and even more so in August.

In detail, Eurocontrol counted 759,786 aircraft movements across Europe in August, of which 618,021 were on domestic routes (74% of 2019 figures). International flights, with 127,997 movements, accounted for 55% of 2019 volume.

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France did better than average. Its aircraft movement volume reached 71% (or 238,801 including overflights). Domestic volume was 94% of what it was two years ago, or 29,127 movements. Internationally, this volume reached 70% of the 2019 level, or 82,513 movements.

For comparison, the volume of movements in Germany in August reached 65% of the 2019 level, of which 56% was domestic. In Spain, this volume was 68% for total flights and overflights as well as for international flights. On the other hand, the domestic sector showed a volume of 96%. Finally, in the UK, total flight volume remained disappointing in August: 51% of total volume, 46% for international movements and 68% for domestic movements.