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Aviation Industry Shows Green Shoots of Recovery

11 Aug 2020

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has confirmed that July was another poor month for the aviation sector in Ireland.  Air traffic levels recorded in July 2020 compared to July 2019 show a decrease of 70%.  This confirms the COVID-19 trend, with air traffic levels for Q2 2020 down by 82% compared to the same period last year.

Despite the significant and unprecedented decline in air traffic numbers in Q2 as result of COVID-19, there are some indications of an improvement, with July 2020 figures showing a 59% increase overall on the same period in June 2020. This increase, while compared against an extremely low base, is primarily driven by the return of commercial passenger flights as Government lockdowns eased across Europe in July.

Peter Kearney, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority said that the aviation industry has gone through the most difficult period in its history.  While there are some green shoots of recovery visible in July, the industry remains in a precarious situation and any recovery must be sustained and long term. 

Acknowledging that this crisis presents unique and new challenges to the sector, Mr. Kearney stated that unprecedented measures were being taken to mitigate against the risk to public health.

Mr. Kearney continued, “Aviation is one of the success stories of the Irish State, and it is in Ireland’s interest to see a return to growth of the air transport industry, which until the recent crisis supported over €8.5 billion of GDP annually and employed in excess of 140,000 people. The scale of the crisis is immense, but I am confident that the Irish aviation sector has the flexibility and resilience to navigate the turbulence in the months and years ahead.”

Q2 2020 Irish Air Traffic:

  • 56,922 flights handled safely by the IAA, compared to 317,622 in Q2 2019

  • 19,818 overflights (flights which do not land in Ireland) handled, down 76,173 movements (79%) on the same period last year

  • North Atlantic Communications (trans-Atlantic operations) managed 26,105 flights, compared to 136,458 in Q2 2019, down 81%.

  • Terminal air traffic control operations recorded 10,999 movements in the second quarter of this year, down 87% on the same period in 2019 (85,173 flights)



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