Europe’s main airports lost seven out of ten passengers due to the coronavirus and in the slew of minus signs, Rome Fiumicino – the heart of Alitalia’s operations – closed 2020 with a decline greater than that of other airports. These are some of the numbers that emerge from the analysis that the Corriere della Sera carried out on the flows of 16 airports in the Old Continent (of which half play the role of the main hub of as many major airlines): if in 2019 they had seen 783.3 million people transit, the following year they were 230.2 million, 70.6% less.
The comparison shows how the health emergency has also upset the ranking of airports: London Heathrow closes 2020 with 22.11 million passengers (-72.7% on 2019) losing not only the continental record, but also the second place. At the top now is the new Istanbul airport with 23.41 million travelers, followed by Paris-Charles de Gaulle (22.26 million). Moscow Sheremetyevo is also advancing, with just under 20 million people in twelve months (compared to about 50 million in 2019). The other Turkish plant, Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (17 million), also gains positions, which causes both Rome Fiumicino (9.9 million) and Milan Malpensa (7.2 million) to lose a position.
Who has lost the most
The impact of the coronavirus has also led to the shortening of distances between airports. This is because the declines were generalized and exceeded 70%. With few exceptions and all located in two countries outside the European Union. In the ranking on the rate of reduction in flows, Rome Fiumicino is the airport that has lost the most, approximately 77.3%, according to the calculations of the Courier service. A little because of the reductions in Alitalia’s connections, a little because of the cancellations of low cost airlines and a little because intercontinental tourists have disappeared. Important effects also on Lufthansa’s second hub, Munich, which saw 76.8% of travelers disappear.
The Moscow and Istanbul cases
Milan Malpensa airport is in fourth place for loss of passengers – after Barcelona and before Francorte, Lufthansa’s primary hub – with -75%. With a clarification: in 2019 the flows in the Lombard airport were in some way “doped” by the closure for three months of the Linate airport, which saw operations move from the Milanese city airport to the province of Varese. London Heathrow, the hub of British Airways, closed with -72.7%, just over Madrid, the operational heart of Iberia. Always over -70% also Amsterdam (where KLM reigns) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (Air France). Those that have lost the least are Moscow Sheremetyevo (-60.4%), Istanbul (-55.5%) and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (-52.1%).
AdR against Sea
Outside the continental context and speaking of our home airports, it is interesting what happened to the two large aggregates: AdR (the Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino management company) and Sea (the entity that manages Milan Malpensa and Linate) . In 2020 passengers at Linate were 2.25 million (-65.7%), at Ciampino 1.52 million (-74%). Adding the plants to the two big Italians, we can see how AdR and Sea are very close: in 2019 AdR had 49.41 million people, Sea 35.42 million (a difference of 14 million). One year later, AdR stops at 11.42 million, while Sea reaches 9.45 million.