In July, the first month of operations after the lockdown, a total of 11,176 Revenue Generating Passengers (RGPs) travelled out of the Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA Airport) to the various markets of which 7,042 passengers (pax) to the US, 2,566 pax to Europe and 1,548 pax to the Dutch Caribbean (28 pax departed also on a repatriation flight to Latin America).
These figures might be better than forecasted, however, compared to 2019 these numbers are still very low, and we still have a long way to go in recuperating the traffic levels that AUA Airport enjoyed before the Covid-19 crisis hit. In July of 2019, AUA Airport handled 121,926 outbound RGPs translating into a recuperation of a mere 9% of the traffic during July 2020.
An average outbound load factor (LF) (number of seats of the total seats on board an aircraft that are occupied when departing from Aruba Airport) for the US Market of 40% was reported during the period of July 10 to July 31, 2020. The LF ’s for the entire month of July for the European and Dutch Caribbean markets were 56% and 55%. The average LF for July 2019 in these markets were respectively 95%, 95% and 68%.
During the first week of August, AUA Airport averaged 9 flights per day, down from about 37 daily flights from the same week last year. For August 2020 AUA Airport forecasts to be handling approximately 16,000 to 19,000 departing passengers. This would then be a recuperation of approximately 17% of our traffic handled in August of 2019. AUA Airport is still cautious about the outlook for RGP amounts for the remainder of 2020 and foresees to be recuperating between 35% – 40% of the amount of RGPs served during the full year of 2019.
“We are glad that we are back in business since July, but the path towards air traffic recovery will be long and challenging. Airlines face a prolonged uphill climb before air travel demand recovers to pre-pandemic levels, but air travel numbers have been steadily increasing as was recorded during the past few weeks.” – Joost Meijs, CEO AUA Airport.