Posted on December 18, 2020
The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) has introduced three options for the future of the aviation industry in the EU, based on the timing of COVID-19 vaccine availability and the end of the pandemic.
According to Eurocontrol experts, if mass vaccination is widely available during summer or by the end of 2021 at the latest, the European air traffic will return to the level of 2019 in the year 2024.
The second scenario considers a wide availability of the vaccine by the summer of 2022. In that case, it will take two more years to have 92% of the 2019 air traffic volume restored.
In case the events begin to develop according to the most pessimistic forecast – ineffective vaccine or people refusing to get vaccinated – the European aviation sector will return to pre-pandemic levels only by 2029.
Eurocontrol obtained these forecasts based on experience from previous crises. For example, in 2001, approximately 200,000 flights were canceled, and it took 1.5 years for the European market to recover. The global crisis in 2008 caused the cancellation of 600,000 flights, and it took eight years to return to the former transportation volume.
In 2020, about 6 million flights were canceled in Europe, and unfortunately, it is not impossible that the events may develop exactly according to the pessimistic scenario.
Contributor: Anna Sindjajeva
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