Passenger through-flow at Tallinn Airport will stand at around a quarter of that of 2019 – itself a record year – ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Wednesday night.
The situation should take a turn for the better in 2021, when numbers will recover to around a third of 2019 levels, the report said, though this is still behind the overall recovery for Europe as a whole – a continent which in turn has been hit hard by the pandemic.
Tallinn Airport's commercial manager Eero Pärgamäe told AK the year will end with a loss, compared with profits of €9.7 million in 2019 and record numbers of passengers (over 3.2 million).
Pärgamäe said: "This year Tallinn Airport passenger figures will be something in the magnitude of 850,000 to 880,000 for the whole year, that is, perhaps we are talking about 25 percent of last year's volume."
Pärgamäe noted even this figure was thanks to the first three months of the year when flights were generally running (the government declared its coronavirus emergency situation in mid-March – ed.).
Airport director: 1.1-1.2 million passengers next year would be satisfactory
As for next year, Pärgamäe said the airport would be satisfied with a little over a million passengers, i.e. about one third of 2019's level.
Taivo Linnamägi, head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications' aviation and maritime department, told AK that 2019 levels might not be reached until 2024, he added, or even later, depending on the coronavirus situation and the later availability of effective vaccines.
Internationally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that this year will stand at around 2003 levels, and over 60 percent lower than 2019.
Eero Pärgmäe said as far as Europe goes, that figure is more like 70 percent or more, and that passenger numbers recovery will be more like 50 percent next year.
Changes in the offing which will affect the aviation sector indefinitely include the introduction of health passports containing coronavirus testing and vaccination data on the individual, currently at discussion stage, Pärgmäe added.
Editor: Andrew Whyte