news - AEROPORTI DI ROMA
Fiumicino, 28 January 2022 - The capital's airport system closed in 2021 with around 14 million passengers, up 22% on 2020 but still down 72% on 2019, before the start of the pandemic. In summary, 2021 was a year of lights and shadows that marked the recovery's beginning, which slowed down at the end of the year due to the impact of the Omicron variant.
In the same year, despite this context, Aeroporti di Roma continued its development and transition plan with a volume of investments of more than € 160 million (more than € 300 million in the two years 2020-21) and in the path of excellence in service quality, confirming Fiumicino also in the fourth quarter of 2021 - according to the surveys carried out by Airport Council International (ACI) - in first place among the large airports in the European Union in terms of traveller satisfaction.
"Despite a still complex situation - said Marco Troncone CEO of Aeroporti di Roma - there are the conditions for 2022 to be a year of the gradual recovery of traffic at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports. Above all, the dynamism of American carriers for the coming summer season bodes well, as does the expectation that traffic within Europe will return to near-normal later in the year. We are experiencing a temporary but profound market upheaval, in which the airports paying the highest price are the intercontinental hubs, such as Fiumicino, which has seen a sharp reduction in long-haul flows, particularly with markets in Asia, Russia and South America, still subject to severe restrictions".
Fiumicino. In 2021, 11.7 million passengers passed through Leonardo da Vinci, up 19% on the previous year and down 73% on 2019. The traffic trend showed a two-speed trend with the first half of the year still down by 3.4 million passengers (-55%) and the second half up by 5.3 million passengers (+147%) compared to the same period in 2020.
In general, Fiumicino's domestic market is the one that closed the year with the greatest recovery, restoring around 45% of movements and 40% of passengers handled in 2019. On the other hand, international traffic has suffered more from an uneven regulatory framework that has produced a scenario of prolonged travel restrictions. The entire non-European segment was particularly hard hit, closing the year with just over 14% of the passenger volumes handled in 2019, recalling how Fiumicino, like the other major intercontinental airports, was affected by the continuing drop in long-haul flights due to the severe restrictions still in force. Unlike Europe's leading hubs, however, Leonardo da Vinci has also been affected by the vicissitudes of the reference carrier, with Alitalia ceasing operations in mid-October with an increasing number of cancellations and ITA having to deal with the new wave of infections at start-up.
In any case, and confirming the potential of the Roman market as confirmed by the growing trend in the second half of last year, in 2021, Fiumicino was the European airport to have activated the highest number of new routes. In fact, more than 50 new flights were launched, including 11 new international destinations not operated by any other carrier even in the pre-pandemic year, and three new airlines debuted at Fiumicino for the first time. This performance was also supported by the development of Wizz Air which, having chosen Fiumicino as its new base, launched several new routes and the strong contribution of Ryanair's activities. In addition to these two major players, other carriers have contributed to this record, such as Sky Express' debut on Athens, Flyr on Oslo, the launch of Eurowings on Prague, Transavia on Paris Orly, Vueling on Toulouse, etc.
On a more positive note, we should also mention the encouraging progress made in the North American market, which is also the result of the great effort to identify and implement innovative solutions that have allowed air connections to be reactivated in complete safety. Fiumicino was the first airport to activate the experimental Covid Tested Flights protocols on the USA, favouring a progressive restoration of direct flights. It is no coincidence that, while Fiumicino's non-European traffic ended the year in severe pain, the North American segment moved in a different direction: US airlines ended 2021 recovering around 75% of the level of movements operated in the same period November-December 2019.
Ciampino. In 2021, there were 2.3 million passengers, up 43% compared to 2020 and down 60% compared to 2019. The traffic recovery was 40%, with a strong acceleration during the last summer season and then a reduction from the end of October due to the limit of daily movements imposed at the airport, which has led carriers to relocate part of their operations to Fiumicino airport.