FAB CE States are reporting faster-than-forecast airline traffic recovery levels but the recovery is characterised by two very different trends.
“We have one group of States - comprising Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia - where 2021 traffic is on course to reach 2019 levels very soon and accelerate further into the winter,” according Matej Eljon, FAB CE Programme Manager and Director of FAB CE Aviation Ltd. “On the other hand, traffic growth in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia is recovering at a far more sedate level and is not expected to reach 2019 levels in the short term.”
The forecasts are based on airline Winter schedules recorded by the Network Manager, refined with the addition of localised data for the FAB CE region. FAB CE operational experts say the surge in demand is being driven by tourists from outside southeast Europe seeking “extended summer” destinations in the Balkans and by low-cost carriers now being able to offer competitive services to bus companies for routes closer to home.
“Over the last few months we have seen short-term forecasting becoming far more accurate, much closer to actual traffic levels,” said Matej Eljon. “While the overall trend across all FAB CE States in the near term is for levels to remain below 2019 for a few months yet, there are some grounds for optimism that, in our region at least, most FAB CE States will soon be near to or slightly above 2019 levels.”