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Passenger numbers at Sweden’s airports continue to bounce back


A total of 2.9 million passengers passed through Sweden’s airports in August as the country and its aviation industry continued its recovery from the global pandemic.

It was the third straight month that close to three million passengers used Swedavia’s 10 airports, which include Stockholm Arlanda, Göteborg Landvetter and Malmö.

The airport operator notes that August was “dominated by continued seasonal demand for international travel, but also by increased demand for domestic travel in conjunction with the start of school and work”.

It adds: “The queue situation for the security checkpoints at Stockholm Arlanda Airport has further stabilised and is now normal. Meanwhile, punctuality improved significantly at Arlanda, as the airport continued to top the list of comparable European airports in August. However, the aviation industry is still dominated by operational challenges in the post-pandemic re-start.”

August’s passenger total was almost 90% higher than August, 2021, but still 24% below pre-pandemic levels.

Swedavia’s president and CEO, Jonas Abrahamsson, says: “The recovery in aviation continued in August, with high pressure on travel at our airports, especially Arlanda. That is true for international travel, which is normal for the season, but also for domestic travel, which accelerated during the second half of August in conjunction with people returning to school and work.

“We can see that the pent-up need to meet again after more than two years of pandemic has not yet subsided. That is despite challenges for the aviation industry this past summer along with growing economic concerns, however, which may affect demand for flights going forward.

“The queue situation at Arlanda has stabilised significantly and is back to normal, thanks to a combination of our measures and our security provider’s continued recruitment efforts.

“Punctuality across Europe remains a challenge. However, we note that punctuality at Arlanda improved sharply in August and that Arlanda is still one of the most punctual performers among comparable airports in Europe.”

During the month, the queue time at Arlanda’s security checkpoints was less than 15 minutes for about 90% of all passengers, including for Terminal 5 alone. The security checkpoints in the other terminals at the airport continued to have normal seasonal wait times.

Meanwhile, Swedavia’s security provider, Avarn, continues its recruitment efforts in order to meet the staffing needs this autumn. Another 50 or so employees are expected to start jobs at the airport’s security checkpoints in September.

Punctuality improved significantly at Arlanda in August compared to July. According to preliminary figures from Eurocontrol, punctuality was about 78% in August, which means that Arlanda topped the punctuality list for big European airports during the month.

Of the total 2,836,000 passengers in August, 2,163,000 were international and 673,000 were domestic passengers. That corresponds to an annualised increase of more than 100% cent for international travel and 60 per cent for domestic travel.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport had 1,928,000 passengers, making August the third straight month in which the airport had nearly 2 million passengers. International travel continued to rise, with more than 1,653,000 international passengers. There were a total of 275,000 domestic passengers.

All in all, travel at Arlanda increased by more than 100% compared to 2021, but is still about 20 per cent lower than the volumes in 2019.

Göteborg Landvetter Airport had a total of 475,000 passengers in August. International travel increased more than 70% compared to the same month in 2021, while domestic travel increased 140%. Travel at the airport was about 25 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Stockholm Bromma welcomed 97,000 passengers during the month, an increase of more than 50% on August 2021, but 45% down on the same month in 2019.

It was a similar story for the August passenger upturn at Malmö Airport compared to August 2021 – it handled 128,000 passengers last month – although the total was 70% below pre-pandemic levels.

Elsewhere, the performance at Swedavia’s six regional airports varied. Compared to travel in 2019, Luleå Airport performed best, with the third largest number of domestic passengers during the month, after Arlanda and Bromma.

Since the start of the pandemic 30 months ago, Swedavia has lost more than 67 million passengers compared to the 30 months before the pandemic.

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