BERLIN, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Air traffic in Germany is recovering much more slowly than in the rest of Europe, the German aviation association (BDL) warned on Wednesday, with direct routes within domestic airports suffering the most.
From December 2023 to May 2024, a total of 111.5 million seats will be offered on all flights to, from and within Germany, BDL said in a presentation, that is 84% of the pre-pandemic availability. It compares to a forecast of a 10% year-on-year improvement to 98% of traffic for Europe in the same period before the pandemic.
Compared with the same period last year, air traffic in Germany will grow by 14% in the next six months, according to BDL.
Among long-haul routes, the strongest recovery will be seen to North American destinations, it said, while traffic within Germany will continue to be hit by the shift to road and rail and the increased use of digital communication.
Smaller airports will see only slight year-on-year growth, or, in some cases, a contraction, it said.
Within Europe, the services of point-to-point airlines such as Ryanair (RYA.I) and EasyJet (EZJ.L), whose market share is about 37%, will exceed pre-pandemic levels by 9% in the next six months.
Seat availability for low-cost carriers in Germany, representing about 23% market share, will only reach about two-thirds of the pre-pandemic figure.
By contrast, the offering of network carriers such as Germany’s Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is significantly stronger, with an expected recovery of 88% for European airlines and 99% for non-European ones.
Tourist airlines will significantly exceed pre-pandemic levels with seat availability of 121%, the association said.
Industry group IATA said on Wednesday that airline profits are set to stabilise in 2024 as continued growth in post-pandemic travel is offset by the high cost of capital and capacity constraints.
Reporting by Linda Pasquini, Editing by Louise Heavens