Closure of Ukraine’s airspace will last until 2029, Eurocontrol forecasts

11 April, 04:43 PM
Wizz Air plane (Photo:Wizz Air)

Wizz Air plane (Photo:Wizz Air)

Ukrainian airspace, which was closed on Feb. 24, 2022, will not return to "normal" routing until at least 2029, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, or Eurocontrol, said in its forecast update for 2023-2029 as of March 31.

Restrictions on the airspaces of Russia, Belarus and Moldova remain in place for 2023-2029, as well.

Eurocontrol, which now has 44 members, also sees the number of flights increasing from 10.3 million in 2023 to 11.8 million in 2029, according to the average forecast. The number of flights plummeted in 2020-21 to 5 and 6.2 million respectively.

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Low-costers were leaders of recovery on the European passenger flights market, with a 32.3% share in 2022 – less than the 32.4% share of mainline companies.

Meanwhile, all-cargo air transportations have returned to their pre-COVID levels after a slight boost. Their share of the market in 2022 was only 4.2%. This segment was impacted a great deal by Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

Business aviation, at the same time, shows an increase, with the highest level of 11.4% in 2021. Even following a drop, its current share of 8.6% is still higher than it was in 2019 (6.2%).

Current key risks to the aviation industry are high inflation and the great uncertainties provoked by the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Eurocontrol believes. The longer the war lasts, the greater the risk of an energy crisis that can become a major blow for global economic expansion.

Oil prices and available refining capacities, as well as environmental concerns are to become main challenges, forecasters believe.

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