CPH traffic data: Very busy July despite SAS pilot strike

The appetite for travel is particularly great this summer. With 2.4 million passengers and more than 120 destinations, the terminals at Copenhagen Airport were buzzing in July. However, the SAS pilot strike meant that there were fewer travellers than expected. Overall, eight out of ten travellers are back compared to pre-COVID figures. 

With a total of 2,416,550 travellers, July was the busiest month since COVID-19 triggered the worst aviation crisis ever in early 2020.


“Copenhagen Airport is really beginning to look like its old familiar self, and once again the terminals are full of the hustle and bustle of life,” says Chief Commercial Officer Peter Krogsgaard.


However, passenger numbers have been negatively affected by the 15-day pilot strike which ended on 19 July.  SAS is still the largest airline at Copenhagen Airport, accounting for almost a third of the airport’s traffic.


European aviation under pressure this summer
European travel picked up faster than anticipated, and many airports have been short of staff to handle everything from check-in and security to baggage and passengers.


"Since January, we have increased staff with 500 new employees. So, at Copenhagen Airport we were ready for the busy summer and managed to give people a good start on their holiday. But many travelers in Europe have experienced more disturbances than usual for the summer season," says Peter Krogsgaard, commercial director.


During June and July, a total of 4.8 million passengers passed through Copenhagen Airport – most of them on their way to European destinations, placing July at index 81 compared to the same period in 2019.  


The long-haul intercontinental routes out of Europe to particularly Asia and North America are still affected by the pandemic, and with just under 200,000 passengers in July, this category ended at index 51 compared to the pre-COVID benchmark.


Mallorca sits firmly at the top
This summer, travellers have more than 120 destinations to choose from when flying out of Copenhagen. The most popular holiday destinations are Spain, Greece and Turkey.


Mallorca is the firm favourite beach-holiday destination in Denmark with almost 80,000 passengers travelling by scheduled flights and thousands more visiting the Spanish island on package holidays in July. Thus, Palma de Mallorca moved up, taking fourth spot on this month’s top ten of destinations. In fact, Mallorca is more popular now than before the pandemic, coming in at index 123 compared to the figures for 2019.   


The first group of Danish holidaymakers setting off for the Spanish island in 1951 travelled by coach and ship, and the journey took 36 hours. This was reduced to 12–13 hours by plane in the late 1950s, although a couple of stopovers were necessary.


This summer, Copenhagen Airport provides 14 daily departures and arrivals to and from Palma de Mallorca with a journey time of just under three hours.

Download Excel