Swedish airport operator, Swedavia, has reported a decrease of 86% in passenger traffic across the 10 airports in its portfolio for December 2020. A total of just 408,000 passengers flew via its airports last month compared to 2,852,000 passengers during the same period in 2019.
In total last year saw a decrease in more than 30 million passengers (74%) compared to 2019, meaning air travel in Sweden during 2020 was back to levels last seen in the early 1980s.
“Air travel has been hit extremely hard by the pandemic and due to the escalating spread of COVID-19 and subsequent travel restrictions implemented, passenger volume decreased 86% in December,” said Jonas Abrahamsson, Swedavia’s President and CEO.
“The course of the pandemic, combined with new and expanded restrictions, is contributing to continued enormous uncertainty about the market situation in early 2021. The winter months are also always a seasonally weak period for air travel,” he continued.
Of the 408,000 total passengers that flew in December, 262,000 were international passengers, while 146,000 passengers were domestic travellers. In 2019 916,000 domestic passengers travelled through Swedavia’s airports during the same month.
While Abrahamsson admitted that he can see conditions in place for an “emerging normalisation and recovery in air travel in time for the summer season,” he also warned the performance of the air transport sector depends entirely on the pandemic and the major vaccination efforts now being made. “So we also anticipate continued great uncertainty in terms of demand and expect the pandemic to have a significant impact on air travel this year as well,” he noted.
Swedavia’s seven regional airports saw passenger volume decrease between 68% and 92% to a total of 71,000 passengers in December. For the year, air travel overall decreased 70% to 1,664,000 passengers at the regional hubs compared to 5,491,000 travellers for the same period in 2019. The airport operator’s three primary hubs: Stockholm Arlanda, Göteborg Landvetter and Bromma Stockholm all saw a decrease in passenger volumes of more than 85% during December, while the latter saw the biggest decrease both in December and the period January-December, with a decrease of 97% and 80% respectively.
Kiruna Airport and Luleå Airport were the two regional hubs that performed best in December and over the past 12 months, although demand was still limited at both airports.