Slow recovery, pandemic fears pressure EMEA airports: Fitch

Airports’ recovery will depend on business, leisure travelers in passenger mix, traffic by destination, agency says

Pandemic fears and slow air traffic recovery put pressure on airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Fitch Ratings said Friday.

Some of the other factors creating pressure include risks of the emergence of new and more infectious virus variants, and frequent and uncoordinated changes in travel restrictions, and border controls.

“The recovery in year-to-date EMEA airport traffic has been slower than we originally anticipated, which led to the revision of our traffic assumptions in the region,”the agency said in a statement.

“Individual airports’ recovery paths will depend on the proportions of business and leisure travelers in the passenger mix, as well as the traffic split by destination, including domestic, international short-haul and long-haul,” it added.

Fitch noted that many airports had reached or neared their maximum capacity and were planning expansions before the pandemic, adding their strong liquidity positions have supported them during the pandemic as expansions were postponed.

It added that fiscal and monetary policies in many countries have provided support to airports as part of government programs that targeted the sectors most affected by the pandemic.


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