While “a crisis like no other” (in the words of the International Monetary Fund) rages, it is important to identify and highlight the sectors of the aviation, tourism and travel retail business that are beginning more rapidly to recover.
In this column, we bring you regular updates about how airports, airlines, travel retailers and brands are investing in that recovery, and how various stakeholders are shaping up for the new normal. Please send your contributions to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com.
“Every opening is a victory and should be celebrated as such” – Martin Moodie
“COVID-19 has decimated air travel and incapacitated one of our lungs, but the Singapore heart – our determination, dynamism and enterprise – is still pumping strong. Changi Airport will one day be full again, SIA planes will once again soar. This is our collective mission in the coming months and years ahead.” – Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung
Xi’an Airport continued to lead recovery within the Fraport Group portfolio of airports in August. The Chinese airport served 3.6 million passengers, down by -18.7% year-on-year but a performance that underlined the rebound in Chinese domestic traffic over recent months. As passenger traffic in Russia has picked up, St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport recovered to post a deficit of -31.4% year-on-year to 1.5 million in August.
Fraport Group’s home airport, Frankfurt, served 1.5 million travellers, down by -78.2% on a year ago. This meant that the fall was below -80% for the first time since March. However, quarantine regulations introduced by the German government for all travellers returning from high-risk areas curbed this positive trend in the first week of September, when traffic fell by -80.7%.
Among other group airports, Ljubljana Airport welcomed 28,024 passengers in the month, down -86.7% year-on-year. In Brazil, the airports of Fortaleza and Porto Alegre registered a combined traffic drop of -77.1% to 300,240 passengers. At Lima Airport, traffic fell by -95.4% to 101,866 passengers, as a result of widespread travel restrictions.
Fraport’s 14 Greek regional airports served 2.4 million passengers in August, representing a -55.5% decrease compared to the same month last year. The Bulgarian Twin Star airports of Burgas and Varna saw combined traffic plunge by -77.1% to 287,769 passengers. Antalya Airport in Turkey received about 1.7 million passengers – a decline of 68.8%.
Amman Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) resumed international operations on 8 September, with flight activity increasing since. It followed approval by the Government of Jordan for Airport International Group to reopen.
Fly Jordan, Jordan Aviation, Turkish Airlines and flydubai have now recommenced their activities at QAIA, carrying passengers from Istanbul during the first two days, with flights arriving from Istanbul and Dubai later today.
Emirates will resume passenger flights to Moscow Domodedovo Airport with two flights a week, starting on 11 September. The resumption of flights to Moscow will take the airline’s expanding network in Europe to 26 cities.
Emirates has been gradually restoring its network connectivity worldwide. The addition of Moscow will take the global network to 85 cities in September.
Oman will open to international flights from 1 October, Oman Airports and the Civil Aviation Authority have confirmed. Muscat International currently offers regional flights to selected destinations for Omani residents.
An Oman Airports statement said: “Within the framework of travel procedures issued by the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 and recommendations by the Civil Aviation Authority, we would like to inform our valued passengers that the air traffic for international flights resume starting from Thursday, October 1st , 2020.”
Three more airlines have recently resumed passenger flights at Miami International, bringing the total number of carriers to 19. Virgin Atlantic restarted its London service three times a week on 18 August, followed by Aerolineas Argentinas returning on 3 September to and from Buenos Aires three times a week. On 4 September Copa Airlines began two weekly flights from Panama City. Flights with each airline are subject to travel restrictions by the US and the respective governments of each destination.
The airline relaunches followed others in early August. Volaris began serving Guadalajara again on 2 August, Air Europa resumed weekly service from Madrid on 3 August and SWISS returned on 4 August with two weekly flights from Zurich.
Thirteen other airlines either never stopped flying or resumed scheduled service at Miami previously: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, LATAM Airlines, United Airlines, Aeromexico, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Iberia,…