Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the aviation sector has been heavily impacted.  All the players: airlines, airports, manufacturers, have mobilised in order to survive and to modernise the system.

The summer period saw an encouraging recovery for the whole sector, thanks to the departure on holiday and the easing of health constraints. In fact, from May to August, air traffic continued to grow, reaching a maximum of 26,773 flights (-27.7% vs 2019). Since this period, the network traffic has been in line with the most optimistic scenario of the latest EUROCONTROL traffic scenarios. Airport traffic also increased, rising to 46% of 2019 levels in the first half of the year.

Early September, at network level, the traffic growth was close to 72% of 2019 levels. Traffic is now stabilising with an average of 24,500 flights per day in Europe. For the coming months, the recovery rate is expected to gradually increase from 72% to 79% of 2019 traffic, as traffic has started to decrease in 2019.

This encouraging recovery in air traffic is essential to ensure the mobilisation of the sector’s players and to encourage innovation. However, it must be balanced with daily peaks, particularly in France. Indeed, these peaks of flights on certain days must be anticipated and imply a significant adaptation of airports, controllers and airlines, to ensure the best management.   It must also be synonymous with raising awareness in order to accelerate initiatives in favour of global warming and the reduction of CO2 emissions. This is what CCS is developing with innovative technologies to optimise 4D trajectory prediction and data sharing between ANSPs.

Aviation stakeholders must continue to coordinate and propose innovative projects to ensure a robust traffic recovery while keeping in mind the zero emission challenges for 2050.