European aviation closed out 2020 with 6.1 million fewer flights operated and over half the aircraft in Europe grounded, says Eurocontrol in its newly published paper called ‘What COVID-19 did to European Aviation in 2020, and Outlook 2021’ noting that Georgia’s air traffic decreased the most amongst European states.
With 6.1 million fewer flights operated in 2020 than in 2019, flight levels last reached during the mid-1980s, emissions have also declined,” says Eurocontrol.
Georgia’s flights decreased by 73 per cent which is 34,000 flights.
Other countries which have significantly decreased in the number of flights are Israel (- 68%, - 120,000 flights) and Morocco (- 65%, - 131,000 flights). Eurocontrol writes that unlike other European states, Georgia, Israel and Morocco did not see a significant recovery during the summer.
We’re confident that the recovery will start to firm up in 2021 as the vaccine rolls out across the globe. However, it’s clear that the entire aviation sector will continue to need financial support in the years ahead. And if we are really to ‘build back better’ in 2021, we must start tackling core issues, such as the way the aviation system is financed, regulated and integrated, and how it addresses sustainability,” said Eamonn Brennan, EUROCONTROL Director General.
The least affected country was Norway due to its critical dependence on aviation connectivity, where air traffic decreased by 40 per cent compared to 2019 which amounted to 205,000 flights. After Norway, the countries where air traffic decreased the least are Albania (46 per cent) and Luxemburg (47 per cent).