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Covid-19 impact on aircraft and transport

Eurocontrol study: 2021 analysis and outlook 2022 - ATTACHMENT

In almost two years of the pandemic Europe's commercial aviation and air transport sectors have shown resilience. This is what emerges from the 15th Think Paper of Eurocontrol, the organization that monitors the efficiency of the European air traffic system, of the industrial and professional sectors. The paper shows a "partial but crucial recovery" of air traffic in 2021, a growth that will continue until it reaches 70-90% (depending on the evolution of variants) at the end of 2022 compared to the levels recorded in 2019.

The economic impact is enormous: 18.5 billion Euros of losses incurred by European air carriers (in 2020 recorded -22.2 billion Euros). There are 1.5 billion fewer passengers than in 2019 (while in 2020 it was -1.7 billion) and 4.9 million missing flights (in 2020 it was -6.1 million).

The 2021 started with air traffic volume 36% below pre-pandemic levels. It then rebounded solidly over the Summer, peaking on August 27th at about 70% of flights operated in 2019. This is all thanks to mass vaccination programs and the European Green Pass. The positive trend continued across the Old Continent, recording an increase in operations up to 81% at the end of October. Finally, the reinstatement of some restrictions due to the release of the Omicron variant in December dropped the volume and number of connections to 78% compared to 2019.

Confidence in the future of the industry is also tied to important commitments on sustainability. In the short term sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is seen as a means to immediate gains, with aircraft engines already certified to consume a 50/50 blend. However, now states' efforts are still focused on pandemic recovery. This stands in the way of funding a decisive technological leap in the industry that, through partnership with policy, should lead to the decarbonization of aviation in 2050, with a 65% cut in harmful emissions expected to occur precisely because of SAF.

The full version of the document (22 pages) is attached to this AVIONEWS.

Gic - 1241334

AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency