Travel restrictions and quarantine periods have not allowed the industry to progress with its recovery
One of the world’s largest airport operators, VINCI, experienced a 70% drop in passenger numbers across its portfolio during last year compared to figures from 2019.
Due to strict travel restrictions that were implemented globally to slow the spread of COVID-19, airports faced an incredibly difficult year. Passenger traffic for the firm’s airports based in Europe and Asia were hit hardest, with a decline of around 72%. Comparatively, airports positioned in the Americas faced a 62% reduction.
Salvador Airport (Brazil), Sanford Orlando (USA), Itami and Kobe (Japan) have made progress with recovery in domestic air travel since the summer of 2020. However, due to the travel restrictions implemented in the Autumn of last year, Europe has had to place its recovery on hold.
As quarantine rules strengthened in the UK throughout 2020, passenger numbers fell dramatically – a decrease of 78.2% compared with 2019.
Stringent hygiene and health measures have been put in place across the network. Technology has aided the way to a fully contactless travel experience. One example is MONA, a biometrics system placed at Lyon Airport, that uses facial recognition technology to create a touch-free journey.
VINCI Airports still managed to make progress despite the pandemic. Wizz Air is expected to open a new base at London Gatwick this year while easyJet is expected to add four aircraft to the site, meaning the airport will offer 107 destinations in 28 countries.
EasyJet has also recently revealed the opening of an operating base in Faro, Portugal in 2021. Additionally, in the United Sates, VINCI’s airport contract for terminals E and F at Atlanta/Hartsfield Jackson was renewed and the operating contract for Hollywood/Burbank Airport in California was extended by ten years.
Back in 2019, VINCI was recognised as the world’s second largest airport operator after acquiring 50.1% of Gatwick Airport.