Sunday 10.12.2023 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

68 fewer flight arrivals in April compared to last year

27 Apr 2023 / 12:26

CORFU. Big difference in number of flights from Italy compared to 2022. Tourist professionals are not worried. Bookings are continuing at a satisfactory rate.

The number of flights arriving at Corfu Airport from certain destinations is showing a decline compared to the impressive numbers for same period last year.

Among them are Italy and Germany, whilst flights from other countries have not yet started, such as Hungary and Lithuania, and others are limited to a single-digit number of flights, such as Switzerland.

68 fewer flights were recorded from April 1st to 27th at Corfu Airport compared to the same period last year. During this period, 335 flights arrived compared to 403 in April 2022. There is a significant difference in the number from Italy, which made its presence felt earlier than ever last year with 65 flights, but this year has been limited to around 17, with the only flights for now coming from Milan.

There were also fewer flights from Germany compared to last April. The month is expected to end with 87 flights compared to 126, which has been reflected in hotel bookings, with a slight decline from that particular country.

There are marginally more arrivals from the UK, which traditionally has a strong presence at the beginning and end of the tourist season, while there are fewer flights from France (25 compared to 36).

"The flight schedules have shrunk mainly in June, July, and August," Corfu Civil Aviation Authority Employees Union President Dimitris Roussos told Enimerosi. "Airlines may well be increasing flights to other destinations. Maybe they didn't have this luxury last year. Italians have returned to their normalcy, as they traditionally come in the summer. Last year they started unexpectedly early, which may be related to fewer Covid travel restrictions. We can also see that Hungary, which had 12 flights in April last year, has not yet started this year."

Occupancy rates

He said that the occupancy rates will be revealed at the end of the month, but added that the 68 flight cancellations do not seem to be fully covered by the passengers of the 335 arrivals. Although indicative occupancy rates of 92%-96% were recorded during the first 10 days of April, they did not remain at these levels and dropped to 76%-83%.

Tourism professionals not worried

However, tourism professionals do not seem to be worried, as bookings in accommodation rentals and hotels are continuing at a satisfactory rate. There are no cancellations, and they do not see a downturn. On the contrary, they state that we will have a good season this year.

"The level of bookings is good and we are satisfied," Corfu Federation of Tourist Accommodation Owners President Pericles Katsaros told Enimerosi. " Almost all accommodation properties have opened. However, in order for visitors to come, we must definitely look at the overall image of the island, i.e. roads, lighting and beaches that meet tourists' expectations."

According to Spiros Rokas, Vice President of the Corfu Hoteliers' Association, April was full of British tourists who usually support the beginning and tail end of the season, while other nationalities that recorded small percentages are gradually increasing.

"Bookings have not stopped and so far we have not see any decline. We cannot explain the decrease in flight schedules from certain destinations. Traditionally, Italians take vacations in July and August and the rest of the time is relaxed. We do not rely on them," Mr. Rokas added.