To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have taken a variety of restrictive measures since the beginning of 2020. Due to these restrictions, the air transport industry suffered a severe blow. The most recent figures on commercial flights show some signs of recovery, but activity in 2021 remains far below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.
In August 2021, the number of commercial flights in the EU increased by 48% compared with August 2020 but was still down 31% compared with August 2019.
In absolute terms, the number of commercial flights stood at 479,000 in August 2021, compared with 325,000 in August 2020 and 696,000 in August 2019.
According to Eurostat, Latvia saw a 44.6% drop in August 2021 compared with August 2019, while Estonia saw a 44.2% drop and Lithuania a 32.7% drop.
The EU countries with the lowest decreases in commercial flights in August 2021 were Greece (-7% compared with August 2019), Romania (-18%) and Croatia (-22%).
In contrast, flights decreased by more than half in Finland (-60% compared with August 2019), Ireland (-55%), Slovenia (-54%), Slovakia (-52%) and Czechia (-51%).