Aviation's biggest airport groups; unpredictability rules

Premium Analysis

A CAPA report published in mid Apr-2021 pointed to a small number of airports that were able to demonstrate some actual traffic growth in Mar-2021 and they aren't in China, where that growth is up to 200% at many airports.

While that is good news, they are statistical outliers.

A more cogent picture has been provided by three large and powerful operators - VINCI, Corporación América and Groupe ADP. Their traffic statistics for Mar-2021 and for 1Q2021, where they are available, demonstrate that the way that the industry is starting to recover from the pandemic's body blows is very inconsistent, with one group's worst performers being thousands of miles apart - in Uruguay and Italy.

The only certainty is that Europe continues to be the continent that is suffering the most, since the virus is on the increase again as fast as the countermeasures brought in again to try to thwart it. Indeed, two partly owned subsidiaries of one of the operators turn out to be the better performers, seemingly because they have no western European assets.

While little comfort can be taken from the majority of these statistics, one crumb of comfort is that in all cases here where the operators have reported cargo statistics, they have been universally positive.

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