Strong recovery in air travel during March further narrows the gap with 2019
The first quarter of 2022 marks a general recovery in air traffic volumes, despite the concerns over the Ukraine conflict, the Italian airport system continues its path to recovery.
The easing of health measures and a resumption of confidence in air travel are contributing to the steady recovery of domestic traffic and the restart of European connectivity.
Intercontinental flights – Despite having seen a significant increase in connections to/from North America, are not recovering as quickly. The restrictive measures still in place, particularly in the far east, have negatively impacted the recovery of Intercontinental flows.. However, the expected easing of measures currently in place in Australia suggests that there will be an even greater recovery in connectivity in the coming months, especially towards Eastern European countries.
In this context of general recovery in traffic volumes and increase in the number of operating carriers, Rome and Venice historically among the most visited by international travelers, are leading the industry in terms of recovery of inbound flows of tourists.
Aeroporti di Roma- Fiumicino and Ciampino airports
Despite the slowdown registered in the first two months of the year, due to the Omicron variant, and the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine, the performance of March shows a recovery in demand mainly driven by the domestic and European markets.
In March the airport system recorded as a whole around 1.9 million passengers, registering an increase of 45% compared to February 2022.
This positive performance was sustained by a marked improvement in traffic volumes at Fiumicino airport, where more than 1.6 million passengers were handled, and thus recording a 48% recovery in passenger movements compared to February 2022 and 50% compared to March 2019.
The growth concerned in particular the international market, where the easing of travel restrictions continues to favor the recovery of traffic, confirming the strong attractiveness of Rome for European tourism.
In fact, the European Union, with a traffic flow of over 900 thousand passengers, records a recovery in volumes of over 60% and an increase of over seven times compared to the same month of 2021.
On the European side, many tourists have come from Spain, France, Germany and England, enjoying the freedom to travel again. The main European capitals are displaying the greatest growth, with Paris, London, Madrid, Amsterdam and Barcelona leading the list of the most popular destinations.
Among the preferred destinations, in spite of Europe, the North American market also begins to stand out as leader in the recovery of connections, with the launch of 6 routes, four of which in the United States and two in Canada.
North American saw a traffic recovery more than 45%, largely driven by the US traffic, which recovered 52% of traffic volumes compared to the same period of 2019.
Only the Asian countries still appear to be highly constrained, but the recent relaxations of travel restrictions in some areas, including Australia, raise hopes for the beginning of a rapid recovery in volumes.
Ciampino airport handled over 260 thousand passengers in March 2022 with a decrease in transported volumes of -46% compared to 2019. However, part of this result is due to the drop in commercial movements, from 100 to 65 flights per day, due to noise reduction policies in the area surrounding the airport.
Polo Aeroportuale Nordest (VCE, TSF, VRN, VBS)
The Polo Aeroportuale Nordest, which includes the airports of Venice, Treviso, Verona and Brescia, handled 1,882,257 passengers in the first quarter of 2022, with a 54% recovery compared to the same period in 2019, on a total of 22,400 movements. March closed with 813 thousand passengers, or 62% of the traffic recorded in the same month in 2019.
Venice Airport handled 480 thousand passengers in March and 1.07 million since the beginning of the year. The recovery of traffic was 52% compared to 2019, showing a gradual trend throughout the quarter (the recovery in March was 59%).
The domestic market was the largest one, with 333 thousand passengers handled between January and March (31% of total traffic). The major international markets were France, Spain and the United Kingdom. Paris CDG has been the top destination during Q1, followed by Catania and Naples. Among the top 10 destinations at Venice airport, 4 were domestic.
Treviso Airport recorded 197 thousand passengers in March and 447 thousand in the first quarter, with a 56% recovery on 2019 flows (in March the recovery on passengers was 69% compared to 2019). The opening of Ryanair’s base in June 2021 boosted the traffic to international markets (86% of passengers traveled to internationally).
The major market in the first three months of 2022 was Great Britain, followed by the Italian and Spanish markets
Verona Airport handled 136 thousand passengers in March and 363 thousand since the beginning of the year. The recovery of 2019 traffic volumes in the first quarter was 58% (61% in March).
The contribution of domestic traffic, the main market for Verona Airport, was 55% (199 thousand passengers). The second most important market in terms of passenger traffic was the UK, followed by Albania and Egypt. The traffic performance in the first months of the year is closely linked to the reopening of the ski resorts, the return of VFR traffic, and the resumption of outbound traffic to Egypt and some long-haul segments.
The main destinations between January and March were Catania, Palermo and Bari (a total of 140 thousand passengers, accounting for 39% of the quarter’s traffic).