July 17, 2024

European flights hit 93% of pre-Covid levels

The first 12 days of September saw the number of flights across European airspace hit 93% of pre-Covid 2019.

This is according to new figures from Eurocontrol, which show 32,514 average daily flights in the week up to September 12, 7% up on the same period in 2022 but 1.4% below the previous week as traffic levels started to recede from the summer peak.

Arrival and departure punctuality was at 71% and 64% respectively, which equates to 6.5/7.6 percentage points below 2019 levels, but better than the equivalent week in 2022.

On a year-to-date basis, network traffic was at 91% of 2019, and up 11% on last year.

This was despite disruption at Amsterdam Schiphol, which was significantly affected on September 9 by low visibility, resulting in delays.

London Gatwick also saw delays throughout the week from a combination of ATC staffing, ATC capacity, aerodrome capacity and weather delays. 

Lisbon airport experienced daily regulations for aerodrome capacity and weather. Early morning low visibility caused delays at Stockholm Arlanda on September 11 and 12.

The top 10 airlines reduced capacity by 0.9% compared to the previous week.

The average jet fuel price stood at $3.02 USD/gallon on September 8, increasing by 0.5% over two weeks.

Fuel prices in Europe had been mainly declining between June 2022 ($4/gallon) and June 2023 ($2.20/gallon), but have now jumped 19% compared to July and, on 8 September 2023, were at their highest since January 2023.

Current prices have increased by 5% compared to the beginning of the year.