Large reduction in air traffic in 2020 as a result of the pandemic

Air traffic in Swedish airspace decreased by 57 percent in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic. The number of flights last year was 332,000, compared with 774,000 in 2019.

“2020 was the year that no one could have imagined. At the beginning of March, the first signals came that a pandemic had begun to take hold in Sweden and then the consequences of that followed one after another. The pandemic had dramatic consequences for travel in general and aviation in particular”, says LFV’s CEO Ann Persson Grivas.

During a normal year, LFV handles around 750,000 flight movements in Swedish airspace, which means just over 60,000 movements per month. We divide air traffic into three different categories: domestic, foreign and air pilots. The latter category involves flights that neither take off nor land in Sweden. In 2020, domestic traffic decreased by 51 percent, international traffic by 64 percent and overflight pilots by 57 percent.

2020 began with a relatively small decline in the first two months, which was in line with developments at the end of 2019. From mid-March, the pandemic began to hit Europe, which had immediate and major consequences for European air traffic. Borders were closed and air traffic declined rapidly. Air traffic volumes were at their lowest in April, when the level was just over 15 per cent of 2019. Thereafter, traffic recovered somewhat and since the turn of the year, 2020 has been at a level between 30 and 35 per cent compared with 2019.

“It is difficult to know when travel and aviation have recovered and how the industry as a whole will be affected by the pandemic in the long term”, says Ann Persson Grivas.

Of course, the 2020 sharp reduction in the number of airspace movements had consequences for LFV’s finances. The total result after the revaluation of the pension liability was SEK -122 million. Higher aviation revenues due to higher pension costs due to technical revaluation of the pension liability, lower other operating income, lower external costs and higher personnel costs are the main differences compared with the previous year. Lower revenues in relation to our costs have meant a worse result compared with the previous year.

Original article source:LFV