According to the 2020 Airport Industry Connectivity Report by ACI EUROPE, there has been a systemic collapse of the aviation network and air connectivity due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The key report, which has been published yearly since 2014, measures the extent to which Europe’s airports and their communities are connected to and accessible from the rest of our continent and the world – using a set of direct, indirect, and hub connectivity indexes.
The 2020 report shines light on the harsh reality of more than 6000 air routes previously operated from Europe’s airports still not being restored 9 months into the COVID-19 crisis.
EU/UK airports have been the hardest hit, with their direct connectivity almost disappearing in April, then experiencing a weak recovery over the peak summer month of August at -55% before falling again as of September (-62%).
Amongst larger EU/UK airports, the sharpest decreases in direct connectivity were registered by Madrid-Barajas (-71%), Rome-Fiumicino (-70%), Munich (-68%), London-Heathrow (-68%), and Frankfurt (-67%) as of September. Meanwhile, smaller regional airports have often seen their direct connectivity even more decimated as evidenced by Linz (-96%), Treviso (-95%), Vaasa (-91%), Quimper (-87%), Newquay (-86%), Shannon (-83%) and Burgas (-82%).
Conversely, direct connectivity at Russian and Turkish airports has proven more resilient, due to both the size and relative dynamic of their domestic market. This has resulted in more contained direct connectivity losses for Moscow-Domodedovo (-12%), Saint Petersburg (-26%), Moscow-Vnukovo (-28%), and Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen (-33%).
Hub connectivity has been even more affected than direct connectivity, with the Majors (top 6 European airports for hub connectivity) having recovered only 16% of their hub connectivity by September. Amongst the league, Munich (-93%) and London-Heathrow (-92%) registered the steepest losses in hub connectivity, followed by Frankfurt (-89%), Istanbul (-85%), Paris-CDG (-81%), and Amsterdam-Schiphol (-70%).
The ACI EUROPE report offers a stark message to National Governments, is the extent of the damage linked directly to measures enacted to contain the virus – the ‘blanket quarantine’ approach still being taken in many countries. Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, commented:
“The damage is so systemic that relying solely on market forces to restore air connectivity would not be realistic. The EU and governments across Europe must urgently intervene to help jump-start it. We need a Recovery Framework for aviation that includes ‘Air Connectivity Restart Schemes’ similar to that seen in Cyprus – with temporary financial contributions aimed at supporting the restart of air routes on a non-discriminatory basis.”
Jankovec went on to say that air connectivity is essential for society’s productive capacity. He also pointed out how air connectivity has a directly proportionate effect on GDP. He asserted that it is air connectivity that holds Europe together.
Source: Tornos News