The latest data from the Airports Council International, ACI Europe, have revealed that European passenger traffic in January this year saw a full recovery, reaching pre-pandemic levels.

The highest increase in passenger traffic was detected in Ireland and the United Kingdom, while the report shows that passenger levels in the European airport network increased by 69 per cent year on year, reports.

In January 2023, EU airports saw passenger traffic increase by +82 per cent compared to the same month in 2022. During this period, Irish passenger levels increased by +128 per cent in the UK by +128 per cent, and Cyprus with +111 per cent.

According to Director General of ACI Europe Oliver Jankovec, 42 per cent of Europe’s airports have recovered their pre-pandemic traffic volumes. In addition, with a percentage of 85 percent of international passenger traffic in January, the recovery of European passenger traffic reached the levels of 2019.

In addition to the poor performance of the airports in Germany, which suffered during January of this year, the airports in Spain recorded an increase of +2.2 per cent, followed by those in Italy with -4.7 per cent, France with -11 per cent and the UK with -14.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, at airports in the rest of Europe, during the same period, passenger traffic increased by +27 per cent compared to January of last year.

Passenger traffic in the five main European airports marked an increase of +73.5 per cent in January compared to the same month of 2022, while compared to January 2019 it was -11 per cent.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, 11 national markets that achieved or exceeded a full recovery in January compared to December 2022 are airports in:

  • Portugal (+12.8 per cent)
  • Cyprus (+11.2 per cent)
  • Luxembourg (+9 per cent)
  • Croatia (+5.4 per cent)
  • Malta (+3.6 per cent)
  • Romania (+3.2 per cent)

In January 2023, Istanbul once again took the place of the busiest European airport with 5.64 million passengers, which means an increase of +62.6 per cent compared to the same month of 2022.

It was then followed by London-Heathrow which received 5.49 million passengers and finally by Paris-CDG with 4.72 million passengers. As a result, volumes increased by +111.2 per cent and +73.2 per cent respectively for the British and French hubs compared to the same period last year, while remaining -7.4 per cent and -12.1 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.