Passenger traffic at Polish airports drops sharply in Q1

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Passenger traffic at Polish airports experienced another dramatic setback in the first quarter of this year due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the results of a new study by the Civil Aviation Authority (ULC) show.

"Polish airports serviced just over one million passengers in Q1, an 87-percent drop on the same period in 2020 and 89 percent less than in Q1 2019," UCL said on its website.

"The number of air operations (take-offs and landings) at all Polish airports reached 15,700 in Q1, 2021, down by 79 percent against Q1 2020 and by 81 percent compared to Q1 2019," the agency added.

Most passenger traffic went through Warsaw's Chopin Airport, which serviced 605,000 passengers, a fall of 2.5 million compared to Q1 2020.

Krakow's Balice airport, southern Poland, with 125,000 passengers placed second, down by 1.4 million against Q1 2020.

The Gdansk Lech Walesa airport was third, with 102,000 passengers, down from 780,000 serviced in the first three months of 2020.

According to ULC, Poland's national airline (LOT Polish Airlines) carried 395,000 passengers to and from Poland, a decrease of over 1.7 million from Q1, 2020.

Wizz Air budget airline took second place with 176,000, down by nearly 1.5 million in the same period of the previous year.

The budget airline Ryanair handled just below 145,000 passengers, 2.1 million less than in the first three months of 2020.

ULC data show that the highest number of passengers travelled to and from Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. Passenger traffic on regular flights fell by 87.7 percent year on year in Q1 2021.

The number of passengers on charter flights fell by 69.6 percent in Q1 2021 against the corresponding period of 2020. The most popular destinations in 2021 were Egypt, the Dominican Republic and Tanzania.

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.