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Air passengers more than doubled in 2022

Air passengers

In 2022, the total number of passengers travelling by air in the EU was 820 million, a substantial increase of more than double (119%) compared with 2021 (374 million), after the strong decline of 73% in 2020 compared with 2019 due to pandemic restrictions. 

Data show that in 2022, all EU countries registered an increase in the number of passengers carried by air transport compared with 2021. These increases varied among the EU countries, with the largest reported in Ireland (+256%), Slovakia and Finland (both +203%). The lowest increases were in Cyprus (+69%), Bulgaria (+74%) and Greece (+80%).

Source dataset: avia_paoc

Extra-EU passenger transport represented 47% of total air passenger transport in 2022. Intra-EU transport represented 37% and national transport represented 16%. Compared with 2021, the share of extra-EU transport increased by 8 percentage points (pp), while intra-EU transport decreased by 1 pp and national transport decreased by 7 pp.

This information comes from data on air transport published by Eurostat. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Top 5 airports saw increase of approximately 100% or more

In 2022, the top 5 EU airports remained the same as in 2021, but all recorded substantial increases. Paris/Charles de Gaulle registered 57.5 million passengers carried (+119%), Amsterdam/Schiphol 52.5 million passengers (+106%), Madrid/Barajas 49.8 million (+115%), Frankfurt/Main 48.8 million (+97%) and Barcelona/El Prat recorded 41.2 million (+123%).

Lisboa Airport placed 6th with 34.6 million passengers carried but saw the highest increase in the top 10 (+184%). Palma de Mallorca (28.5 million) dropped to 10th place with a 97% increase compared with 2021. Paris-Orly registered the smallest percentage increase in number of passengers carried in 2022 compared with 2021(+86%).

Source dataset: avia_paoa

To mark International Civil Aviation Day (7 December), Eurostat invites you to click on the image below to access an interactive visualisation on air passenger transport in 2022.


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