The appetite to travel by air for one’s summer holidays remains undiminished. July was the busiest month since 2019 with 2,833,969 travellers.
“With passenger numbers exceeding 100,000 on several days in July, we have reached a milestone on the road to recovery for air traffic. There is a strong appetite for travel, and our 177 direct routes to 52 different countries provide customers with plenty of choice,” says Chief Commercial Officer Peter Krogsgaard of Copenhagen Airports A/S.
The two busiest days of travel were Friday 14 July and Sunday 16 July, when 101,225 and 100,013 passengers respectively passed through the airport.
Everyone at CPH well prepared
In addition to the two busiest days, passenger numbers topped the 95,000 mark on ten days in July. All employees and companies at the airport were well prepared for the busy days, whether in security, passenger service, shops and restaurants or the airlines and ground handlers who check in, board and handle baggage on behalf of the airlines.
CPH alone has taken on about 200 additional staff on top of the 1,000 who were hired in 2022. This year’s new employees were mainly hired for security, so the airport would be fully prepared for the busy summer period.
“The many peak travel days makes summer a particularly busy period, and we need everyone to perform at their best if we are to provide good service to our passengers and help them get a great start to their holidays. This summer, everyone was ready – even though the high season will invariably produce brief periods when higher passenger flows lead to longer waiting times,” says Krogsgaard.
Challenges in Europe
The agreement that NAVIAIR reached with the air traffic controllers in June meant that there was sufficient staff to handle traffic in and out of Copenhagen Airport in July. On the other hand, Germany and, not least, France had a much worse time of it this summer.
“Challenges involving air traffic controllers in France, for example, caused delays between northern and southern Europe, including on flights out of Copenhagen Airport. That is of course regrettable,” says Krogsgaard.
In addition, long bouts of exceptionally severe weather with thunder and rainstorms in central Europe posed challenges for air traffic, particularly during the last week of July.
Traffic to Spain and Greece peaking
On the routes to European destinations, 94 per cent of travellers are now back, while the recovery of long-haul intercontinental routes out of Europe is a little slower. There are still much fewer flights to Asia and China than before Covid.
Once again, London tops the list of the ten most popular destinations for the month with 172,000 passengers. When it comes to travelling to sunnier climes and getting away from the wettest July on record in Denmark, Spain is the top scorer with 450,000 passengers in the first two summer months.
Several of the Spanish destinations are now more popular than pre-Covid. In July, Màlaga and Palma were at index 111 and 106 respectively relative to 2019.
When it comes to charter destinations, Greece is the absolute favourite. Of the 290,000 travellers on the routes to Greek destinations in June and July, 180,000 were on pure charter flights. Crete is by far the most popular destination in Greece.