Covid-19 cuts Portuguese airport traffic by 87pct – Eurocontrol

Daily air traffic at Portuguese airports has been falling in recent days, given the Covid-19 pandemic, and reached an 87% drop on Wednesday, according to figures from the European organisation Eurocontrol.

Data from the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) consulted on Thursday by the Lusa agency indicates that daily air traffic at mainland airports – Lisbon, Porto and Faro – has been falling sharply since the middle of this month, when countries began to adopt more restrictive measures to try to contain the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak.

While there was a 16.6% drop in daily air traffic on 16 March compared to the same day in 2019, the drop was 39% the following day and 52.4% three days later.

Last Sunday, the year-on-year falls were already 63% and continued to increase on Monday (76.8%) and Tuesday (78.8%), until reaching a peak of 87% on Wednesday.

The latter percentage compares with a drop of around 80% in the European average.

According to Eurocontrol data, also on Wednesday, TAP was one of the companies in Europe with the biggest drop in daily air traffic of 93.3%, only surpassed by companies like Vueling (94%), Ryanair (95%), Brussels Airlines (98%) and easyJet (100%).

As far as airports are concerned, Oporto registered a daily traffic reduction of 90.9% on Wednesday, followed by Lisbon (88.7%) and Faro (83.3%).

The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has already infected nearly 480,000 people in 182 countries and territories, of whom more than 22,000 have died.

To try to contain the outbreak, EU governments are taking measures such as confining citizens and closing or controlling borders, and a suspension of non-essential (notably air) travel has also been adopted.