Air traffic drops 36% in March, fall in April could reach 95%

in News · 08-04-2020 10:17:00 · 0 Comments

NAV Portugal announced on 6 Aprilthat it managed 24.3 thousand fewer flights in March, a 36 percent drop compared to the same month of 2019, with a total of 42.8 movements, due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

According to preliminary data from the airport manager, "the numbers show the impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the various measures taken by several states to contain the contagion rhythm, measures that determined abrupt declines in the civil aviation sector at a global level".

The NAV expects “more pronounced” declines in April, after traffic in January and February was in line with 2019.

Taking into account only the last week of the month, the drop in traffic surpassed 85 percent, with falls expected to be around 85 percent and 95 percent in April.

"The sharp drop in air traffic is quite worrying, for all that it represents in terms of impacts on the economy", says president of NAV´, quoted in the statement.

The total number of flights managed by NAV, or “movements”, includes not only flights with origin / destination at Portuguese airports, but also those flying over the airspace under Portuguese responsibility, which totals more than 5.8 million square kilometres (Km2).

“Despite the drop in traffic in March, as a whole, at 36 percent, it should be noted that it was from the 16th that a cycle of more and more accentuated breaks started as several connections began to be suspended. Thus, and dividing the month of March in two, it is noted that in the first half NAV Portugal managed close to 31.8 thousand flights, a reduction of only 2 percent compared to the same period of 2019. In the second half of the month, NAV controlled close to 12 thousand flights”, he says.

The Lisbon Flight Information Region (RIV), with 671,000 km2, includes Mainland Portugal and the Madeira Archipelago and the Santa Maria Flight Information Region, with 5.18 million km2, includes a vast area of ??the Atlantic Ocean North and the Azores Archipelago.

NAV Portugal recalls that on 10 March, flights to Italy were suspended.

This was followed by the suspension of European flights to the United States, on the 13th, and on the 17th, the connections between Portugal and Spain. Finally, on 19 March, the European Union suspended extra-Community flights.

In view of the "battery of suspensions", he continues, several airlines decided to cancel most or all of their operations, with emphasis on TAP, Ryanair and easyJet, in the Portuguese case.

The suspension of air connections is likely to continue, in addition to the temporary closure of airports in Portugal, and several companies have already announced that they will keep most planes on the ground until May.

“In relation to the rest of the first quarter of 2020, it should be noted that the air traffic managed by NAV Portugal showed signs of stabilization in January and February, with the close to 119 thousand movements managed in those two months being practically at the same level the same period of 2019”, he says.


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