Eurocontrol, Europe’s air-navigation agency, released its latest COVID-19 Impact on European Aviation report on Thursday, and it revealed just how much of a jump air travel has made there over the past couple of weeks.
Through Wednesday, each of Europe’s five busiest air-travel countries – Germany, France, Spain, Turkey and Italy – experienced 21% or greater increases, which also resulted in the flight numbers in each of those countries increasing by 584 or more in that time period.
The rest of the top 10 – United Kingdom, Greece, Netherlands, Norway and Poland – all experienced notable increases as well: at least 10% and at least 97 flights.
The total number of flights in Germany on Wednesday was 3,511. That was followed by France’s 3,383 and Spain’s 3,318. Each of the top nine countries recorded at least 1,000 with Poland as the only outlier on this list as far as that is concerned with 812.
These up-to-date numbers still pale significantly when compared to their corresponding figures in 2019, but the gap is shrinking. This is especially true of Greece and Turkey, which are only down 23% as compared to 2019. Next in this category are Norway (down 32%), France (down 37%) and Poland (down 39%).
The impressive flight numbers in Greece are being attributed to easyJet and Ryanair resuming much of its service that connects that vacation destination with Italy and Germany and on the considerable addition of non-easyJet and -Ryanair domestic flights within Greece. Airports in Athens, Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes and Thessaloniki are expected to be the country’s busiest this summer.
One of the reasons for these increasing flight numbers across Europe is its increasing vaccination rate and resulting loosening of entry restrictions into many of its countries.
As of Thursday, Malta is setting the continent’s pace with 68% of its population fully vaccinated. It is followed by Iceland (64%), Hungary (52%), United Kingdom (51%) and Spain (42%).
Europe’s leaders as far as their populations having received at least one dose of a vaccine are Malta (73%), Iceland (73%), United Kingdom (68%), Belgium (65%) and Netherlands (63%).