"In 2020 as a whole (preliminary data), 100.2 thousand aircraft landed at national airports on commercial flights (-56 percent compared to 2019) and 18.4 million passengers were handled (-69.4 percent)," said the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Lisbon airport handled 9.3 million passengers, 50.4 percent of the total, registering a 70.3 percent drop.
Considering the three airports with the highest passenger traffic - Lisbon, Porto and Faro - the Algarve airport recorded the largest decrease in the number of passengers handled in 2020, with a drop of 75.5 percent.
Already considering the volume of passengers disembarked and embarked on international flights in 2020, France was the main country of origin and destination of flights (it occupied the second position in 2019), followed by the United Kingdom (first position in 2019), which recorded the largest decrease in the number of passengers disembarked and embarked compared to the same period of the previous year (-76.0 percent and -75.2 percent, respectively).
Spain showed the second largest decrease in both indicators and occupied the fourth position in 2020 (third in 2019).
In 2020, there was a 30.2 percent decrease in the movement of cargo and mail at national airports, which reached 147,000 tonnes.
In an analysis of the last month of last year, INE found that 6.8 thousand aircraft landed at national airports on commercial flights, which represents a decrease of 57.3 percent, after falls of 61.4 percent in November and 51.9 percent in October.
With regard to passenger movement (boardings, landings and direct transits), which totalled one million, a decrease of 74.7 percent was observed compared to December 2019 (-82.1 percent in November and -74.1 percent in October).
In December, the movement of cargo and mail at national airports totalled 15,000 tonnes, corresponding to a decrease of 23.1 percent (-27.2 percent in November and -28.1 percent in October), but maintaining the recovery trend since April, the month in which the largest decrease was recorded (-62.6 percent).
Analysing the 2020 monthly figures for the three indicators, INE found that the largest decreases compared to the same periods were recorded in April and May: falls of 94.5 percent and 92.7 percent in aircraft landed, 99.4 percent and 98.5 percent in passenger movement and 62.6 percent and 55.5 percent in cargo and mail movement, respectively.
"Analysing the number of aircraft landed and the number of passengers landed daily in 2020, and comparing with the same period of the previous year, the impact of the measures adopted at airspace level from the beginning of the second half of March in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic is visible. Despite the recovery in July and August, the trend was reversed from September onwards. In December there was a slight recovery, driven by the Christmas season," the statistical agency explained.