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Freight Sees Uptick Despite Lingering Pandemic Impact

In its latest report, ACI EUROPE sheds light on the state of air traffic in October 2023, revealing notable trends in freight and aircraft movements across the European airport network.

Despite challenges posed by the ongoing global pandemic, the data indicates a resilient industry showing signs of recovery.

Freight Traffic Resilience:

Freight traffic in October experienced a 2.2% upswing compared to the same period last year. European Union (EU+) airports demonstrated a commendable 1.3% increase, while non-EU European airports outperformed with an impressive 7.9% rise. However, the overall freight traffic is still grappling with a 9.5% deficit when measured against pre-pandemic levels in October 2019.

Among the top 10 European airports for freight traffic, some stood out with noteworthy performances. Milan-Malpensa (MXP) led the pack with a remarkable 19% surge, followed closely by Istanbul (+15.2%), Madrid (+12.3%), Liège (+5.4%), and Leipzig-Halle (+4.7%). These airports exhibited resilience, surpassing pre-pandemic volumes and contributing to the overall positive trend in freight movements.

Aircraft Movements Show Positive Momentum:

Aircraft movements in October registered an encouraging 8.7% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. Despite this improvement, the data reveals a lingering impact of the pandemic, with movements still 4.5% below the levels recorded in October 2019.

The growth in aircraft movements is indicative of a gradual recovery in the aviation sector, as restrictions ease and passenger confidence begins to rebuild. While the industry has not yet fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, the positive trajectory in aircraft movements signals a promising direction for the coming months.

ACI EUROPE’s report paints a nuanced picture of the aviation industry’s recovery, with freight traffic displaying resilience and certain airports surpassing pre-pandemic levels. As the world continues to navigate the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the aviation sector remains a key barometer of economic revival and resilience.