What are the reasons for the slow recovery?
The BDL said the lower level of domestic air travel, which has reached only 56% of the pre-pandemic rate, is largely responsible for the slow recovery. “Here, a shift in traffic to road and rail is noticeable, among other things” it said.
However, the drop in domestic flying can also be attributed to the fact that low-cost airlines are avoiding most German airports, while increasing their services elsewhere.
This is reflected by statistics showing that the number of connections from German airports are more than a third lower than before the pandemic. (Also Read | Singapore cruise: The perfect way to explore the city and its surroundings)
Only four of Germany’s larger airports — Dortmund, Hahn, Karlsruhe and Memmingen — will be offering more flights in the first half of 2023 than in the same period in 2019, largely owing to the presence of lower-cost airlines.
The boss of the economy airline Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, has in the past criticized German airports for their high fees. His carrier and the cut-price airline Wizz have raised the number of flights they are offering outside of Germany.
Long-haul flights, on the other hand, have made a better post-pandemic recovery, with trips to and from North America as the biggest factor.