Passenger traffic at Polish airports up by 35 pct y/y in 2021

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Passenger traffic at Polish airports increased by 35 percent last year against 2020 but was still down by 60 percent compared to 2019, due to the recurring waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Civil Aviation Authority (ULC) has said.

"Due to the pandemic, new restrictions on air travel continued or were imposed, which made it difficult to rebuild the traffic," UCL wrote in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

"Nevertheless, the improvement was noticeable, especially in the second half of the year," it added.

The results of a new study by UCL show that in 2021, Polish airports serviced just over 19.6 million passengers, whereas the number of air operations (take-offs and landings) at all Polish airports reached nearly 191,000, up by 23 percent against 2020 and down by 52 percent compared to 2019.

Most passenger traffic went through Warsaw's Chopin Airport, which serviced 7.4 million passengers, an increase of 2 million against 2020 and a fall of 11.4 million compared to 2019.

Krakow's Balice airport, in southern Poland, placed second with 3.1 million passengers handled in 2021, up by 477,00 year on year and down by 5.3 million against 2019.

Katowice's Pyrzowice airport, in southern Poland, was third, with 2.3 million passengers serviced last year, up by 874,00 against 2020 and down by 2.5 million against 2019.

According to ULC, Poland's national airline (LOT Polish Airlines) carried 4.8 million passengers to and from Poland last year, an increase of 1 million from 2020 and a decrease of 7.3 million against 2019.

ULC data also show that the highest number of passengers travelled to and from Great Britain, Germany and Italy. Passenger traffic on regular flights went up by 25 percent year on year in 2020 and down by 62 percent compared to 2019.