Airports record 265,600 passengers in February, down 93% YoY – INE

  • Lusa
  • 19 April 2021

After a 79.3% drop posted in January, the airports in Portugal registered 265,600 passengers in February, representing a year-on-year drop of 92.9%.

Portugal’s airports registered 265,600 passengers in February, a year-on-year drop of 92.9%, after the 79.3% drop posted in January, according to data released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

Cargo and mail movement, in turn, totalled 11,600 tonnes, down 33.5% on February 2020, after a 30.2% year-on-year drop in January.

Of the 125,883 passengers disembarking at airports in Portugal in February 2021, around 57% related to international traffic (down from 83% in the same month last year). The majority were from airports located on the European continent, at 48% of the total.

As for the 136,025 passengers embarking at airports in Portugal, about 60% related to international traffic (down from 82% in February last year). Just over half (51%) were bound for airports located elsewhere on the Continent.

Lisbon airport handled 52.3% of all passengers in January and February combined, at 543,000, down 87.4% on a year earlier.

Faro, meanwhile, showed the largest decrease in the number of passengers handled in the two months, at 92.2%, the INE said. It noted that Madeira airport overtook Faro to rank third in terms of passengers, at 75,300, down 83.6% on the year.

In the 12 months to February – that is, starting in March 2020, the month that saw the first cases in Portugal of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 – the number of commercial flights to airports in Portugal was down 65.2% on the preceding 12-month period at 79,500 and the number of passengers disembarking was down 80.6% at 5.8 million, according to the INE.

After March 2020, August and September were the months with the smallest year-on-year decreases in terms of both aircraft landing and passengers disembarking(down 46.4% and 50.2% respectively in August, and down 65.7% and 70.5% in September), while April and May were the months with the largest reductions (down 94.5% in terms of aircraft and 99.4% of passengers in April and down 92.7% and 98.5% in May) – reflecting the impact of restrictions on people’s movements adopted in Portugal and in other destinations and origins of air traffic to Portuguese airports to limit the effect of the pandemic.

In the 12 months to February, France was the main country of origin of passenger flights (accounting for 18% of passengers disembarked) and the United Kingdom second (11% of passengers).

In the preceding 12-month period, before the pandemic, the UK ranked first and France second. Spain, which had been in third place before the pandemic, at 10% of passengers, was in the pandemic year fifth, with just 5% of passengers, while Germany increased its share of passengers arriving in Portugal to 10%, from 8% before the pandemic.

Italy, on the other hand, dropped out of the top five countries in the first year of the pandemic, being overtaken by Switzerland, which in the pandemic year was the origin of 6% of all passengers disembarking at Portugal’s airports.