The flight market has not managed to recover even in the first two months of this year.
Eurostat reported the progress of commercial flights to European countries, including Albania, based on Eurocontrol information. According to the data, in January, the number of flights from Albania fell by 55.6%, while in February by 54.9%, compared to the corresponding months of the previous year, when the pandemic restrictions had not yet begun.
Since March, when all of Europe imposed travel restrictions as a measure to curb the pandemic, commercial flights fell by 51.4%, while in the following two months (April-May) they shrank by over 90% and over 80% in June. After an improvement in the summer months, where shrinkage was reduced to 30-40%, the end of 2020 again brought a deterioration of the trend, as a new wave of pandemic started in Europe.
Eurostat reports that following restrictions in Europe and changes in travel preferences, the most significant decline in the number of commercial flights was recorded in April 2020 (-91% compared to the same month in 2019), May (-90%) and June ( -84%). 2021 also started with high contraction, while in February, commercial flights fell by -73% (compared to the same month in 2020).
In February 2021, the number of commercial flights fell less to Turkey (-50%) and Albania (-55%), while the highest contraction was observed in Austria (-84%) and Sweden (-85%).
Since June, flights from Albania have marked a lower decline compared to the European Union average. Even in relation to the region, Albania has had a better performance, especially in the summer months, when the tourist season peaks, while our country did not apply restrictions on the entry of foreign tourists, unlike Montenegro, which had tougher rules.
The airline industry around the world has suffered huge losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said that in 2020 only 1.8 billion passengers flew, compared to about 4.5 billion in 2019, down 60% year-on-year.
This has caused the industry to lose about $ 370 billion, "while airports and airline service providers lost another $ 115 billion and another $ 13 billion, respectively," ICAO said in a press release.
The situation has severely affected global tourism, given that more than 50% of international travelers reached their destinations by plane.
ICAO said the regional loss sharing showed a loss of $ 120 billion year-on-year in the Asia-Pacific region, $ 100 billion in Europe, $ 88 billion in North America, followed by $ 26 billion, $ 22 billion and $ 14 billion dollars in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa, respectively.