This year, travellers from Denmark and southern Sweden have staged a remarkable return to the destinations of southern Europe. The number of passengers headed for countries like France, Italy, Portugal and Turkey was greater in the first four months of 2023 than in the same period of the year before Covid struck.
“We can see that the appetite for travel is certainly alive and well despite concerns about inflation and an uncertain world. We had 2.2 million travellers pass through our terminals in April, which is an improvement of no less than 22 per cent over last year,” says Peter Krogsgaard, Chief Commercial Officer of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
Easter fell in April this year, but it would seem that many travellers started their Easter holidays early. Friday 31 March had no fewer than 81,866 travellers, while 85,130 travellers made Easter Monday, 10 April, the busiest day for return trips.
The summer season will begin soon, and travellers have 170 direct destinations in fifty countries to choose from, including 26 new ones. Flights were well filled already in April, with an average of 75 per cent of seats sold.
The highest load factors were on flights to holiday destinations like Porto, Bangkok, Dubai, Malaga and Barcelona with close to nine out of ten seats occupied.
Massive delays due to NAVIAIR
The busiest day in April was the 28th with 88,000 passengers. However, almost 50,000 of them were affected by delays that were predominantly due to a lack of air traffic controllers at NAVIAIR, the company controlling air traffic in Danish airspace. There were 23 cancellations out of the 717 planned flights on that Friday.
“In fact, passengers, the airlines and Copenhagen Airport were all severely affected in April by NAVIAIR’s lack of air traffic controllers,” says Krogsgaard.
Of the 19,200 flights in April, 45 per cent of all arrivals and departures were delayed by more than 15 minutes. That means a million travellers were affected. In addition, there were 400 cancellations, which affected some 60,000 travellers.
“We trust NAVIAIR and the air traffic controllers to find – in the first instance – a temporary solution to cover the rest of the spring season and the upcoming busy summer season when we expect more than 7.5 million travellers to pass through the terminals,” says Krogsgaard.