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TOP 10 airlines in Europe by number of passengers transported in 2020

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When we remember 2020, we inevitably associate it with the most dramatic year in aviation. We remember how fish 17 planes remained on the ground simultaneously, tens of thousands of flights were canceled due to restrictions imposed by the authorities. The COVID-19 pandemic destroyed many horeca businesses and resulted in billions of dollars in aviation and tourism losses.

Even in these difficult and turbulent times, there were airlines that clung to every flight and every passenger. Maybe they didn't know how to communicate all the problems, maybe they had difficulties in repaying the money or in honoring certain services, but the airlines kept their desire to fly.

The passengers did not crowd to fly either, being afraid of the virus, afraid of the new restrictions, afraid that they will be isolated.

Top 10 European airlines by number of passengers carried

RYANAIR it was one of the few airlines in Europe that managed to keep its activity in the background of the pandemic, at an all-time low, and fly where it could. According to the Statista report, in 2020, RYANAIR carried 51.7 million passengers, a sharp decrease if we consider that in 2019 it carried approximately 150 million passengers.

easyJet ranks second in the number of passengers carried in 2020, with 50.8 million passengers reported.

Lufthansa Aviation Group reported 36.4 million passengers carried in the sad year of the 2020 pandemic, marking a significant decrease compared to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, Lufthansa Group's passenger traffic was 145,1 million.

Air France-KLM it ranks fourth with 34 million passengers reported in 2020, about 2.5 times less than in 2019 when it carried 87.6 million passengers.

International Consolidated Airlines Group, recognized as IAG (Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and all subsidiaries) carried 31.3 million passengers in 2020, reporting a sharp drop in demand compared to 2019 when the group reported 118.2 million passengers.

Aeroflot enjoyed the presence of 30.2 million passengers on board its aircraft in 2020, twice as many as in 2019 when it registered 60.7 million passengers.

Turkish Airlines, one of the airlines with the largest operational network in the world, carried 27.9 million passengers, far from the 74.2 million passengers transported in 2019.

Wizz Air ranked eighth, with a passenger traffic of 16.9 million in 2020. In the better times of 2019, Wizz Air reported 39.6 million passengers.

Pegasus Airlines remains in the top 10 in terms of the 14.7 million passengers transported in 2020.

S7 Airlines closes the ranking with 12.3 million passengers transported in 2020.

76.9% decrease in passenger traffic at European airports

If we analyze the passenger air traffic registered in the first six months of 2021, we can see that it is below the level of the six similar months in 2020. The explanation is simple: between January and March 2020, passenger air traffic was at maximum codes, then the pandemic began.

Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, stressed that such a decrease is a direct result of travel restrictions imposed by EU Member States to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Based on data revealed by the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), passenger traffic declined by 76,9% at all European airports in the first half of this year, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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