Curaçao International Airport – Traffic Overview
Q2-2021 A Traffic Rollercoaster
Willemstad, July 15, 2021 ̶ Curaçao International Airport’s traffic experienced a rollercoaster ride in Q2 2021. Curaçao Airport Partners (CAP) traffic overview reflects a continuation of cautious optimism. Demand may be increasing but the virus and its aggressive variants remain in control. The island-wide devastating outbreak of the British variant at the onset of the quarter, prompted an increase in restrictions and entry requirements. Simultaneously, the government spearheaded a major vaccination campaign. The efforts proved successful as reflected in the data. June traffic showed an increase in passengers from Amsterdam, Miami, Bogota, Panama and Dutch Caribbean gateways.
International Departing Traffic during Q2 2021 was driven by The Netherlands with a 50% share; USA 21%; Dutch Caribbean 20% and South America 4%. Flights from Bogota and Panama restarted non-stop service in Q2 2021 with less than pre-pandemic frequencies. The average monthly Load Factors (occupied seats per flight) were 51% in April; 45% in May and 78% in June with an overall average load factor of 60% for Q2 2021.
Monthly figures for Q2 2021 reflected the virus outbreak in April and May, while reaching a positive recovery in June. The monthly traffic figures for April showed a decrease of -27% compared to March 2021, May showed a slight recovery with a +6% increase over April and ending the quarter with a strong June that increased with +132% over the previous month of May. June had the highest monthly traffic increase since July 2020 with 62,592 passenger movements. In comparing Q2 2021 with Q1 2021, overall passenger traffic grew by +32%.
When compared to pre-pandemic periods of 2019, Q2 monthly traffic figures are still very low, at only 24% for April; 29% for May and 53% for June 2021.
Compared to previous years, the first semester of 2021, forecasted to be volatile, resulted in a decrease of -43% compared to the same six (6) month period in 2020 and a decrease of -72% compared to the first semester of 2019.
According to Airport Council International (ACI), global passenger traffic over 2020 and 2021 indicates a two (2) year loss of 10 billion passengers compared to the pre-Covid 19 forecast. For 2021 that translates into a loss of 5 billion passengers, a decrease of -51% compared to 2019. The financial impact on airports worldwide is an estimated loss of US$108 billion in revenues. ACI further anticipates that by year end 2021, based on the current scenario, overall traffic recovery will be between 45% and 55% compared to 2019. Distribution of effective vaccines to major markets, gradual removal of international restrictions, strong rebound of passenger confidence and a rapid airline fleet recovery could indicate a full recovery of global traffic by year-end 2023. A more pessimistic outlook could push the recovery back to 2024.
CAP is forecasting a stronger second semester in 2021 and remains cautiously optimistic as the pandemic, traffic demand, flight supply and destination marketing and promotion play important roles in establishing a more predictable and consistent passenger flow.
“We remain optimistic, but alert, given the recent spread events in Holland, and are foreseeing a good summer this year” said Paulo Mazzali, CAP co-CEO. “We are still missing stronger traffic from North and South America, which should return steadily during the second semester, and we may achieve 2020 traffic levels, what seemed virtually impossible when looking at the first 5 months of the year. The current trends point to a much better 2022, despite far from the pre-COVID years. The vaccination efforts made by Curaçao, making the island a safe destination, are bringing a positive outlook, not only to our traffic projections, but to the whole tourism industry. This also stimulates the economy of the island and creates the needed additional jobs.”