German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts

German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts
German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts

German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts

German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts

The recovery of air travel in Germany following the effects of COVID-19 pandemic has been at a slower pace compared to other European countries.

The news comes as new data based on the number of seats sold on flights to and from Germany was released on Saturday.

The rate of recovery is also expected to continue lagging behind other countries for the first half of 2023, according to German aviation officials.

Domestic travel has reportedly been the slowest to recover, at nearly half of the pre-pandemic rate.

Slow rates into the new year

According to a report from one of Germany’s international broadcasters, , the German Aviation Association released figures showcasing the rate of Germany’s air travel recovery.

The data indicated that air travel is likely to reach only 78% of the pre-pandemic rate in the first half of 2023, while other countries in the European Union (EU) are at nearly 100%.

The figures displayed the rate of air travel recovery in other European Union (EU) at 94% of the level prior to the pandemic, meaning Germany is behind and has some work to do if it wants to recover fully.

The German Aviation Association reportedly said that the lower levels of of domestic air travel have primarily contributed to the overall slow recovery.

At only 56% of the pre-pandemic rate, the association said it has noticed travellers turning to other means of travel, such as driving and taking trains.

Domestic travel impacted by higher fees?

Many low-cost European airlines have avoided most airports in Germany as they increase service to other destinations, contributing to the decrease seen in domestic flying.

Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Irish ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair, has been critical of the high fees at German airports. The airline and Hungarian ultra-low-cost carrier Wizzair have reportedly raised the number of flights they are offering outside of Germany.

Statistics among German airports have allegedly shown that the number of connections is more than a third lower than before the pandemic.

According to Germany’s reputed boardcaster, only four of Germany’s larger airports — Dortmund, Hahn, Karlsruhe, and Memmingen — will be offering more flights in the first half of 2023 than in the same period in 2019, mainly owing to the presence of lower-cost airlines.

On the contrary, long-haul international routes have seen better recovery levels post-pandemic, specifically on flights to and from North America, with tourists likely as the majority of the travellers.

Olivier Jankovec, the Director General of Airports Council International (ACI) Europe said to a news agency that they expect several airport markets – especially those relying predominantly on tourism – to exceed their pre-pandemic passenger volumes as soon as next year.

But many others will not fare so well and take much longer to recover.

It’s not just Germany

Although Germany is behind other EU countries, a full recovery in airline passenger volumes in Europe has been pushed back to 2025 from 2024, according to a news agency.

Factors such as a possible recession, double-digit inflation, and effects from the war in Ukraine are all attributed to officials lengthening the recovery time frame.

Jankovec said they now expect the passenger traffic recovery to level off moving forwards, with the timeline pushed to 2025 before Europe’s airports finally get back to where they stood before COVID-19 hit.

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German aviation recovery falls behind EU counterparts

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