ACI Europe warned this Tuesday that 193 airports will face insolvency in the coming months if passenger traffic does not begin to recover by the end of the year. These airports among them provide 277 thousand jobs and 12,400 million euros of European GDP.
The threat of airport closure means that Europe faces the prospect of the collapse of a major part of its air transport system unless governments provide the necessary support. So far, few have done so.
The continuation of severe restrictions on travel across the border in the winter season has considerably worsened the traffic outlook, as reflected in ACI Europe’s latest forecast. Many airlines have cut their capacity plans for the end of the year and for 2021.
Airports facing insolvency are primarily regional airports serving local communities. The potential ripple effect on employment and local economies is evident. Financial support from the government will be essential to avoid increasing geographical inequality and deteriorating social cohesion. At the same time, large European airports and hubs are not immune to critical financial risk. They have cut costs and turned to the financial markets to shore up their balance sheets.
“In the midst of a second wave of Covid-19, ensuring the safety of air travel remains our primary concern. It is crucial that we reduce import and spread risks as much as possible. But surely we can do a much better job of reducing those risks by testing air passengers rather than through unenforceable quarantines,” said Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe.
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