Passenger traffic doubled at the 14 regional airports in the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period in 2020.
According to data from Fraport Greece, which manages the 14 largest airports outside Athens, during the January-July period the total number of passengers handled reached 6,015,197 from 3,090,390 in the corresponding period of 2020, representing an increase of 94.6%. The figure has improved sharply due to the lifting of traffic restriction measures and the recovery of tourism. However, passenger traffic in the first seven months of this year is still 63% lower when compared to that of the first seven months of 2019, when 16.2 million passengers were handled by the 14 regional airports.
How is July’s performance shaping up? On a percentage basis, an “explosion” of passenger traffic is recorded compared to July 2020, with a 170.2% increase and the total number of people reaching 3.5 million. However, in absolute terms, 1.7 million fewer people travelled through the 14 regional airports last month compared to July 2019.
Compared to 2020, Rhodes and Thessaloniki had the highest passenger traffic last month, with 700,000 (+210%) and 535,800 people (83.2%) respectively. Corfu airport took third place, with 447,400 passengers passing through the island’s airport, a 194% increase compared to 2020. The upward trend in passenger traffic is recorded at all airports within (e.g. Frankfurt) and outside Germany managed by the German Fraport Group, which owns Fraport Greece, but traffic remains significantly lower compared to the same period in 2020, according to the company’s data.
The trend in the figures, however, reveals a halt in the rate of decline in passenger traffic due to the pandemic, while at the 14 regional airports July accounted for about half of the total number of passengers in the seven-month period. Similarly, at El. Venizelos airport in Athens, the rate of decline in passenger traffic during the seven months is slowing down, but the gap compared to the same period in 2019 remains large. The total traffic from January to July amounted to 4.5 million passengers and is down by 68.3% compared to the same period in 2019, when more than 14 million passengers were handled.
Using the number of flights as a benchmark, according to data from the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), for the period from 1 to 11 August, Athens airport is among the ten busiest in Europe. It occupies the eighth position with 706 arrivals – departures per day, a number reduced by 15% compared to the same period in 2019.