Year 2020 was undoubtedly the most difficult year in the history of aviation. According to Eurocontrol, almost 200,000 industry workers in Europe lost their job due to the pandemic. The losses reached the level of 56 billion euros and there were 1.7 billion fewer passengers than in 2019. 51 % of aircraft in Europe were grounded at year end.
The impact of this situation had to be manifested also at Košice Airport. As of 13th March landings were forbidden in Slovakia as a result of measures against the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. The operations was restarted in June when Czech Airlines returned to traditional route Prague – Košice. This was gradually followed by Austrian Airlines, Wizz Air and Ryanair.
In 2020 Košice Airport handled 97 382 passengers what represents a decrease of 82,5 % (- 460 681 passengers) as compared to previous year. 93 603 passengers used the scheduled flights. 2 712 passengers travelled on charter flights and there were 1 067 general aviation passengers handled at Košice Airport in 2020. The most demanded destination in 2020 was London Luton followed by Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and London Stansted.
Against the odds, 2020 also brought some positives. Ryanair started to operate two new direct services: Prague was launched in August and Liverpool in October.
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Management Board at Košice Airport Michael Tmej: „For all of us working at Košice Airport it was heartbreaking to see the terminal being completely empty for most of the year. But we have survived, 2020 is now a history. Thanks to the intensive support from the government – which we are very thankful for – we managed to keep all of our employees. I sincerely thank to all passengers that used our services, our business partners and our dedicated staff. I am looking forward to “spreading the wings” of Košice Airport again in 2021.”
Currently airlines plan following start of operation:
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The rules for wearing the facemasks at all times onboard are valid for all airlines. Same rules apply for passengers inside the terminal building, including increased hands hygiene and keeping the distance.