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November 30, 2022

War in Ukraine, energy crisis hit European air traffic in 2022

The post-COVID-19-pandemic recovery of air traffic and activities at airports in Europe has been affected in recent months by the war in Ukraine and an ongoing energy crisis is one of the conclusions of the latest meeting of the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe Board, a forum that represents over 500 airports from approximately 50 countries.

In attendance was also Director General of the Avram Iancu International Airport in Cluj-Napoca, David Ciceo, who is also chairman of the Association of Romanian Airports.

“As a member on the ACI Europe Board, Mr David Ciceo participated in the 133rd meeting of the board in Brussels on October 19, 2022. The board brings together 26 members that carry out policy-making activities regarding the development and progress of the aviation industry at the European level, representing the interests of more than 500 member airports,” reads a press statement released on Thursday to Agerpres by the Avram Iancu Airport.

The agenda of the 133rd meeting of the ACI Europe Board included items related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on airport activities and the existing geopolitical situation through a broader perspective that included aspects related to air traffic recovery, staff shortages and operational disruptions in the summer of 2022.

“During the debates, it was highlighted that the degree of passenger traffic recovery at European airports is hampered by the impact of the current geopolitical situation (war, energy policy and inflation), and its effects on airport activities will be inevitable amid a looming recession.”

With regard to the epidemiological situation and the travel requirements imposed on passengers, the current situation was debated, which “poses a low risk at this moment, but caution is nevertheless necessary” as the European Union will propose to its member states to update their recommendations in case this scenario changes.

“During the board meeting, David Ciceo presented a report on air traffic in Romania and in particular a significant increase in traffic at the Avram Iancu International Airport, which recently exceeded the threshold of 2 million passengers for 2022 as a result of a successful management of its business during the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 epidemic. In his opinion, through the measures to retrain staff during the pandemic and to support operational partners, the Cluj-Napoca International Airport managed to retain its specialist staff, thus avoiding the problems encountered by other airports in Europe, especially in the summer of 2022.”

ACI Europe represents over 500 airports in 55 countries. Its members facilitate over 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe. Air transport supports 13.5 million jobs, generating 886 billion euros in European economic activity (4.4% of GDP).

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