Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

A report says that it is due to the less strict quarantines and more resilient domestic markets. Air traffic in Ukraine has decreased by 47.6 percent compared to 2019 but it is much better than in other countries. 

A new report by Airport Council International, ACI, about European air traffic is terrifying reading. The Covid-19 pandemic has almost illuminated all air traffic in several countries, but some countries, such as Ukraine, seem to be doing much better than others. 

While airports in Ireland, the UK, Finland, and Hungary have seen air traffic fall by more than 90 percent since H1 2019, Ukraine has done much better with a decrease of 47.6 percent. Only Russia (-27.2 percent), Kosovo (-32 percent), and Uzbekistan (-41.8 percent) have done better. ACI says that the significant differences between countries are due to the number of quarantines, their severity, and general travel restrictions.

“For Europe’s airports, the first six months of 2021 were actually worse than last year, as passenger volumes further decreased by more than a third. This is the direct result of the travel restrictions reinstated by the European States at the beginning of the year and which remained in place throughout Spring as the continent was hit by the third wave of the pandemic. But while the impact was felt by all airports across the continent, it is those located in the EU+ area that were by far the most impacted,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe. 

Starting to be better

While the report paints a dark picture of air traffic in Europe, it also says that things are slowly improving, but it does not mean that the sector has recovered, says Jankovec. 

“The situation is gradually improving for airports, but make no mistake – 2021 is not going to be the year of our recovery – far from it. Europe’s airports have already lost over 1 billion passengers this year – which is more than was lost last year to date. The revenue levels needed to sustain our operations are still not there, with debt mostly ensuring we keep operating. The outlook beyond the peak Summer months remains uncertain and is dependent on further progress with vaccination both in Europe and globally,” he said. 

The Director-General of Boryspil Airport, Oleksiy Dubrevsky, also commented on the report and said that things are looking better and better in Ukraine. 

“Passenger traffic is resuming, and we see a positive tendency in traffic every day. The airport team is actively working to attract new airlines and improve airport services. Yes, Eurowings launched flights to us this month, and after a long break, Uzbekistan Airways resumes flights on September 26. Therefore, another including in the authoritative ratings is natural,” said Dubrevsky, according to Ukrinform