Commercial air transport in August 2021: in recovery

To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have taken a variety of restrictive measures since the beginning of 2020. Due to these restrictions, the air transport industry suffered a blow – but the most recent figures on commercial flights show signs of recovery.

In August 2021, the number of commercial flights in the EU increased by 48 % compared with August 2020. This is still well below the pre-pandemic levels (-31 % compared with August 2019).

In absolute terms, the number of commercial flights stood at 479 000 in August 2021, compared with 325 000 in August 2020 and 696 000 in August 2019. 


The EU countries with the lowest decreases in commercial flights in August 2021 were Greece (-7 % compared with August 2019), Romania (-18 %) and Croatia (-22 %). 

In contrast, flights decreased by more than half in Finland (-60 % compared with August 2019), Ireland (-55 %), Slovenia (-54 %), Slovakia (-52 %) and Czechia (-51 %).

For more information:

  • The source of this monthly data on commercial flights is Eurocontrol, a pan-European, civil-military organisation dedicated to supporting European aviation. Data on commercial flights include scheduled and non-scheduled commercial flights (passengers, freight and mail) performed under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). For more information, please refer to the methodological file.
  • Attention to methodological differences should be paid when comparing this monthly data with Eurostat data on passenger, freight and mail air transport collected within Regulation 437/2003. For more information about Eurostat data collection, please refer to this methodological file.