With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe in early 2020 the focus changed entirely from solving the European en-route capacity crisis to managing an unprecedented global crisis of the aviation industry affecting the entire value chain.
Without a doubt, 2020 was a devastating year for the aviation industry which has been hit harder than many other industries due to the measures implemented by States to contain the pandemic and the subsequent reduced demand for air travel. In the EUROCONTROL area, the number of flights decreased on average by -55.2% in 2020, dropping as low as -88% in April 2020. This corresponded to 6.1 million fewer flights in 2020 with grave consequences on the aviation industry’s income and employment levels, in particular.
This year’s PRR takes a look at the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the European ANS system and the implications for the future.