The EU’s aviation industry is opening new flights in search of a much-needed recovery in 2022, with airlines announcing plans to expand operations to Mexico and around the world.
“Nevertheless, I remain confident that 2022 will build on the resilience aviation showed in 2021 to a crisis that had paralyzed economies the year before. As soon as the situation improves, we expect to see a rapid rebound to bring European aviation a lot closer to 2019 traffic levels. At the same time, this year we must urgently accelerate our plans to make aviation sustainable, building back better with major investment in new technological solutions,” said Eamonn Brennan, Director General, Eurocontrol, via a press release.
Mass vaccination and the EU Digital Covid Certificate allowed traffic in the EU to jump from 36 percent in Jan. 2019 to about 70 percent in Aug. 2021, with more than 26,773 flights. The Omicron variant brought several health and safety requirements for many destinations, added Eurocontrol. However, December registered traffic at 78 percent from 2019, allowing the annual recovery to reach 56 percent of 2019’s levels.
Eurocontrol estimates a 70 to 90 percent recovery from 2019 traffic levels. However, the damages to the EU’s airspace industry were catastrophic, as the region registered 1.4 billion less passengers in comparison to 2019 and US$21 billion in total losses amongst all airlines in the EU.
“We know the importance of maintaining connectivity with Central America and, therefore, in 2021 we will offer 246,000 seats. Currently, Iberia is the company that offers better connectivity and a greater number of direct flights from Europe,” said Victor Moneo, Sales Director, Iberia in Latin America, in a press release from Visa Europa.
Visa Europa also reported that the Mexican Government is currently holding negotiations with Fly LEVEL and Emirates to open a new intercontinental air route between Mexico City and Barcelona.
“In particular, in this region, we are delighted to once again offer direct flights between Frankfurt and Panama City as of summer 2022, as well as being able to directly connect the Bavarian capital Munich with Cancun and Punta Cana,” said Felipe Bonifatti, Lufthansa’s General Director for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, according to T21.