Thursday, 14 January 2021

Total passenger traffic down 68.8% year-on-year says Corporación América Airports

The largest private-sector airport operator in the world by the number of airports, Corporación América Airports S.A. reported this week a 68.8% year-over-year decline in passenger traffic in December 2020.

Corporación América Airports currently operates 52 airports in 7 countries across Latin America and Europe (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, Armenia and Italy). In 2019, Corporación América Airports served 84.2 million passengers

Total passenger traffic in December 2020 dropped 68.8% YoY, reflecting the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on air travel, although showing a slight sequential improvement from the 77.1% and 80.8% declines reported in November and October, respectively. In most of the countries of operations, certain travel restrictions and requirements are in place and passenger demand remains low. International traffic declined by 82.5% YoY, while domestic traffic dropped 67.9% YoY.

In Argentina, total passenger traffic declined 84.1% YoY, although improving from the 93.0% decline in November. International passenger traffic declined 84.8%, a sequential improvement from the 91.7% decline in November while domestic passenger traffic dropped 84.0% YoY, showing an improvement from the 93.1% drop in November. Moreover, in light of the new COVID-19 strain, the government decided to temporarily suspend the entry of foreigners from neighbouring countries starting late December until the end of January.

In Italy, passenger traffic declined 91.4% YoY, with international and domestic traffic down 84.0% and 94.2% YoY, respectively, reflecting the reinstatement of air travel restrictions following a new COVID-19 outbreak in the region, and weak demand during the winter season. Moreover, the Italian government announced new travel restrictions on mid-December to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In Brazil, total passenger traffic continues to recover, with a 34.1% YoY decline showing a continued sequential improvement from the 41.7% drop in November. Domestic passenger traffic declined 36.2% resulting from a steady recovery in passenger demand, while international traffic dropped 91.8% YoY, mainly driven by low demand.

In Uruguay, borders remain closed to non-resident foreigners, with certain exemptions, and travel demand is still weak resulting in a passenger traffic decline of 88.5% YoY. On December 21, 2020, Uruguay suspended the entrance of all travellers, including Uruguayan citizens, until the end of January, with few exceptions.

In Ecuador, passenger traffic declined 60.8% YoY, improving sequentially from the 66.4% decline observed in November and the 70.3% drop in October.

In Armenia, while air travel bans were lifted during September, certain restrictions still apply and passenger demand remains low resulting in a passenger traffic drop of 70.3% during the month.

Cargo Volume and Aircraft Movements

Cargo volume decreased 29.7% on December 2020, mainly due to declines of 29.5% in Argentina, 38.7% in Brazil and 31.1% in Ecuador.

Aircraft movements declined 53.5% YoY in December 2020, mainly attributed to decreases of 62.9% in Argentina, 28.2% in Brazil, 76.1% in Italy and 33.6% in Ecuador. Aircraft movements also declined 70.1% in Uruguay, 65.2% in Armenia and 42.8% in Peru.

Note that preliminary passenger traffic figures for Ezeiza Airport, in Argentina, for 2019 as well as January 2020 were adjusted to include additional inbound passengers not accounted for in the initial count, for an average of approximately 5% of total passenger traffic at Ezeiza Airport and 1% of total traffic at CAAP, during that period. Importantly, inbound traffic does not affect revenues, as tariffs are applicable on departure passengers.

Preliminary data on 750 flights in August, 873 flights in September, 547 in October, 423 in November, 280 in December 2019, as well as 1,256 in January and 195 in February 2020 at Brasilia Airport, due to delays in the submission of information by third parties. Moreover, starting November 2019 the Company has reclassified its passenger traffic figures for Brasilia Airport between international, domestic and transit retroactively since June 2018 to return to the count methodology utilized until May 2018. Notwithstanding, total traffic figures remain unchanged.

Cargo volumes in Uruguay were rectified from January 2019 to June 2020, to reflect all cargo passing through the cargo terminal, instead of air cargo only.
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