Why airports' return to pre-pandemic capacity is uneven

In our latest check-in with aviation data analytics firm Cirium, we examine the uneven return of airports to pre-pandemic capacity levels

As we move through the first quarter of 2023 and continue to see increased confidence in international travel, published flight schedules show some notable capacity trends emerging. For example, London/Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport before the pandemic, is edging closer to full recovery in terms of flight activity, with Q1 seat counts showing a decline of around 5% compared to the same period in 2019, roughly in line with the shortfall at Stansted and Luton. In contrast, Gatwick’s Q1 seat capacity is still down 17% when compared to Q1 2019, indicating that the West Sussex gateway still has some way to go to recover lost ground.

Munich has been slower to return to pre-pandemic capacity compared to some of its rivals
Munich has been slower to return to pre-pandemic capacity compared to some of its rivals AirTeamImages.com/Markus Mainka


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