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EUROCONTROL Forecast Update 2021-2027: Three scenarios for recovery from COVID-19.

The Eurocontrol forecast, published on October 15, contains three scenarios of European Flight Movements and Service Units, and both the ‘baseline’ and ‘high’ scenarios show recovery to 2019 levels during the course of 2023, while this is delayed in the ‘low’ scenario until 2027.

It updates and extends the forecast made in May 2021, before the summer season.

Last year only 5m flights were made but this summer has been very encouraging, with traffic close to our previous ‘high’ scenario and to airline expectations. As a result it is expected to see a total of around 6.2m flights this year – still 44% fewer than recorded in 2019. There is a general optimism about traffic recovering to 2019 levels earlier than anticipated, with the baseline scenario indicating 9.8m flights in 2022, just 11% down on 2019. But there is awareness that there are still significant downside risks that could affect  recovery.

The High scenario envisages the vaccination campaign continuing both within Europe and globally, with reliable vaccines that continue to be effective, including against variants. With a coordinated inter-regional approach, travel restrictions are relaxed, with most inter-regional flows restarting by the middle of 2022. Business travel recovers quickly in this scenario.

The Baseline scenario is similar but with flows outside Europe recovering rather more slowly (partly as the result of a lack of a coordinated inter-regional approach) and with business travel only recovering to pre-COVID levels in 2023.

The Low scenario considers the impact of several downside risks, such as slow/patchy vaccination rates, the need for new vaccines as a result of variants, the reintroduction of lockdown and similar measures, the continuation or re-imposition of travel restrictions, economic risks, including high energy prices and a long term drop in people’s propensity to fly.

The forecast report also included a sevenyear forecast per state and region

To read the forecast report, click here