Air traffic over Cyprus has dropped by 83% year-on-year, due to the impact of COVID-19 on aviation, according to Eurocontrol, the umbrella organisation for 41 national air traffic control agencies.
Acting as a network manager for aviation traffic across the whole of Europe, Eurocontrol generated animated videos of flights over specific regions, including the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR), comparing May 6, 2020, with May 8, 2019.
The intergovernmental organisation said that “on a typical day, 1,100 flights are handled by Cyprus. Since the lockdown, traffic is down 83%.”
Eurocontrol’s Director-General, Eamonn Brennan said in a tweet: “On Wednesday, there were 199 flights in Cypriot airspace, 83% fewer than in 2019. Here is how it looked.”
The organisation also issued two scenarios to illustrate the possible impact of the extent of “COVID-compliant operational procedures” for airlines and airports across Europe with the aviation sector not expected to recover fully, well into 2021, while airlines, airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) accumulating losses of €110 bln during 2020.
“If airlines have to comply with one set of regulations on departure and another set when the flight arrives in another state, then this will be particularly onerous on the industry,” Eurocontrol said, calling for a coordinated effort between all stakeholders.
“These scenarios are not a forecast – they are very much dependent on variables, such as the duration and size of the pandemic across Europe, that are not clear.
Rather they illustrate how an uncoordinated approach will significantly impede the rate of recovery. A coordinated approach foresees a broad implementation in mid-June, picking up in July. If this is delayed, then the forecast simply moves June to July and rolls on.”