The travel restrictions imposed by the Portuguese government during December has affected the country’s air travelling performance as a further drop in commercial air traffic was noted.

However, according to the European statistics provider, Eurostat, Portugal witnessed a better performance in the industry than the EU as a whole. While the commercial flights in Portugal declined by 13.9 per cent in December compared to the pre-pandemic period, the European Union saw a drop of 23.3 per cent on average, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In general, the number of commercial flights operated in the EU stood at 383,720 in the last December, compared to 166,990 in December 2020 and 504,270 in December 2019, when no travel restrictions were imposed. This means that, in the last month of 2021, the number of commercial flights across the 27-nation-bloc increased by 130 per cent compared to the same period in 2020 but fell by 23.9 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.

>> Eurostat: Number of Flights Operated in December Shows Major Recovery Signs – Reaches 76% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

Furthermore, the EU member states that recorded the smallest decline in commercial flights in December 2020, compared to the same time in 2019, were Croatia with 5.7 per cent decline, Greece (8.4 per cent) and Cyprus (nine per cent) – as Portugal stood fourth on the list of the smallest drops in commercial flights in the EU.

At the other end of the scale stands Czechia with a 40.5 per cent decrease and Austria with a 40.8 per cent drop, while the rest recorded decreases of about 30 per cent.

Nonetheless, the EU country that recovered the most out of all is Greece, reaching 29 per cent of 2019’s commercial flights capacity, followed by Cyprus (-38 per cent) and Luxembourg (-39 per cent). Ireland marked the least signs of recovery (-64 per cent), followed by Slovenia and Czechia (both -62 per cent).

Airports with the best performance include Berlin Brandeburg with 13,521 flights, recording a 16 per cent increase, followed by Liege with 6,972 flights making up for a 21 per cent increase and Paris Le Bourget (2,715 flights and an eight per cent decrease).

However, data published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed that Portugal has experienced a 19.6 per cent decline in jobs related to the sector, accounting for more than 92,000 jobs. The report conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics also revealed that one in six jobs in the sector would be unfilled due to labour shortages.

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