The summer saw a sharp increase in commercial flights across the European Union, but they remain lower than before the pandemic, new figures show.
The number of commercial flights in the 27-country bloc rose 72.8% in July, year-on-year, and 47.6% in August, according to data released Tuesday by Eurostat.
However, those numbers remain about a third lower than they were before the emergence of COVID-19 with 479,000 flights taking off last month, up from 696,000 in August 2019.
In addition, the number of flights observed in the previous two months – the peak season for traveling across Europe – was lower than those recorded in January and February 2020 before the number of commercial flights across the Old Continent began. its abrupt fall as member states put in place closures and closed their borders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
To boost the tourism sector, EU countries launched a COVID passport in early July, allowing people who had been fully vaccinated, tested negative before travel, or had recently recovered from the disease, to fly to other Member States.
The summer tourism hotspot Greece has recovered the best this season with the number of commercial flights down just 7% in August compared to the same month in 2019. Romania and Croatia followed commercial flights down by 18 % and 21.5% compared to two years ago.
Commercial flights continue to experience major headwinds in Slovenia, Ireland and Finland, where they remain 53.5%, 54.5% and 60% below what they were before the pandemic.