Traffic recovery at Italy’s Northeast airport system

Italy’s Northeast airport system, so far, has shown a soar in air traffic recovery, with a prediction to reach 80 per cent of the amount generated in 2019 and 90 per cent in the last quarter of 2021.

Traffic recovery at Italy's Northeast airport system

Credit: Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE)

Luca Zaia, President of the Veneto Region, said at the press conference held in Venice to introduce the traffic data regarding Italy’s Northeast airport system managed by SAVE Group: “Veneto is going to be the land of the Olympics 2026, but it is also the land of Unesco World Heritage Sites: our nine World Heritage Sites are attracting a growing demand for international tourism. These places are also receiving an increasing number of visitors thanks to airport connections, linking Veneto’s treasures with world travellers. Indeed, the airports of Venice, Verona and Treviso are our pride, and they have always been instrumental in the success story of our tourism. If there were no airport system like the Northeastern one, we would not be the leading Italian region for tourist inflows and in terms of turnover. Nowadays, we know for sure that the world is reopening there is a new desire to travel, and Veneto is a favorite tourist destination.”

 “With the Northeast Airport System we can say without doubt that, in these difficult months, we have deployed the utmost energy and planning to lay the foundations for air traffic recovery in 2022, recovering most of the international and intercontinental flows and also opening new markets” added Zaia.

Enrico Marchi, President of the SAVE Group commented: “The Northeast Airport System is recovering in line with our best forecasts. Confidence and willingness to travel and visit our territory’s attractions have returned. The ability to create a system between airports, the Veneto region and the local authorities is a decisive factor in the path towards the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics. The Olympics are not only an achievement, but they also represent a milestone in a virtuous path where our airports are a driver of tourist and economic flows towards our territory. Our airport system presents itself to world as a unicum, with a strong team of professionals focused on the development of new flights and destinations, enhancing intermodality and infrastructures, with a deep attention on sustainable growth to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Traffic statistics for Northeast Airport System

The first signs of recovery began in 2021. At the end of the year, Verona recovered 40 per cent of the passenger traffic totaled in 2019, Treviso 38 per cent and Venice 30 per cent. The recovery was largely driven by the domestic traffic, which was the first segment to return to flying.

In 2022, the recovery has taken off and it is expected that as early as the core summer months the system will reach 80 per cent of the amount of traffic generated in 2019, reaching 90 per cent in the last quarter of the year (2021). Venice stands out for the recovery of intercontinental routes to North America (U.S. and Canada).

As for the domestic market, which accounts for 28 per cent of the capacity offered by the system, it is forecast a return to 2019 volumes with over 5.5 million seats on sale and 15 destinations operated. The UK, one of the most affected markets by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, is once again the first international market for the system, with over 2.5 million seats on sale estimated for 2022 across 13 British airports (12 per cent of the system’s total offer). Germany, Spain, and France round off the top five list, with a combined offer of 5.3 million seats for sale (27 per cent of the system’s total) across 34 destinations served by 13 airlines. As for intercontinental markets, 600,000 seats will be on sale in 2022, about 50 per cent of the 2019 total. Furthermore, in July 2022, Emirates will increase from four to five the number of weekly flights between Venice and Dubai.

Leisure markets of Tanzania and Kenya are served from Verona: Zanzibar and Mombasa in the summer, whereas the Indian Ocean and Caribbean destinations will be served again over the winter season.

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