CPH traffic data: October saw an increase of 270,000 travellers
Appetite for travel is still growing. October was the busiest month at Copenhagen Airport since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out last year. Passenger numbers grew from 1.3 million in September to almost 1.6 million in October, driven particularly by a very busy autumn break. The airport is now at 57.6 per cent of activity relative to October 2019. The main reason for the shortfall lies in long-haul and transfer traffic.
A total of 67,253 travellers made 15 October, the Friday before the schools’ autumn break, the busiest day at Copenhagen Airport since the COVID-19 pandemic forced Denmark into lockdown in March of last year.
“Especially residents in Denmark and southern Sweden have dug out their passports and made use of their Covid passports to travel to Europe on holiday or business. The airport is once again teeming with life,” says Chief Commercial Officer Peter Krogsgaard of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
A total of 1,571,633 passengers passed through the terminals in October, which is equal to 57.6 per cent of the traffic in October 2019, the last year of pre-pandemic normality. At the beginning of November, passengers had 120 destinations to choose from at Copenhagen Airport, mainly in Europe and Scandinavia.
“Several factors are stoking the urge to travel: For one thing, it’s the wide choice of destinations, but the fact that three in four Danes are fully vaccinated, that Covid passports are accepted all over Europe and that travel restrictions have in reality been lifted have made travelling easier and more straightforward,” explains Krogsgaard.
Long-haul and transfer traffic struggling
On the other hand, prospects are more challenging for intercontinental routes out of Europe and for transfer traffic, i.e. passengers from Denmark, Scandinavia and northern Europe travelling via Copenhagen to other destinations around the world. The number of long-haul passengers is down by 75.6 per cent relative to October 2019. For transfer passengers, the drop is 66.6 per cent.
“Obviously, the fact that long-haul and transfer traffic continues to struggle will affect the traffic data overall, but also here things are starting to look up. The USA is opening up, and so are several countries in Asia. However, the last 18 months of global pandemic have taught us the hard way how difficult it can be to predict how infections and travel patterns will evolve,” says Krogsgaard.
In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, Danish airports will continue to follow the EU recommendations that face masks must be worn in the terminals.
“Your journey starts the second you’re inside the terminal, and with Norway and Sweden as the only exceptions, wearing a face mask is mandatory in virtually all European airports. That’s why we continue to apply the EU recommendations,” explains Krogsgaard.
Scandinavia and Spain the top destinations
The Top-10 list of destinations out of Copenhagen is starting to look like its old self – with the exception of London, which in pre-pandemic times was the largest destination by far out of Copenhagen with as many as 25 daily departures.
Scandinavian destinations top the list: Oslo and Stockholm take first and third place respectively, while the domestic destination of Aalborg is wedged in between in second place. In fact, traffic between Aalborg and Copenhagen has grown by 6.9 per cent relative to October 2019.
Spain is the largest destination country with two destinations on the list: Traffic is up by 18.4 per cent to Málaga in Andalucía and by 22.2 per cent to Palma on the island of Mallorca compared with the same month of last year.