Many people appear to have heeded the Swedish authorities’ call to avoid travel if possible, especially over the Christmas season (although not everyone: The head of Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency was forced to step down earlier this year after it emerged that he had flown to the Canary Islands in December).
At Bromma Airport, which mainly handles domestic departures and arrivals, December travel fell 97 percent compared to the same month in 2019, according to Swedavia which operates ten of Sweden’s airports.
At Arlanda, Sweden’s largest airport, the corresponding drop was 85 percent, and at Landvetter in Gothenburg, 87 percent.
In 2020, more than ten millions travellers flew to or from one of Swedavia’s airports – a decrease by more than 30 million compared to 2019. There’s not been a year with fewer passengers since the early 1980s, said Swedavia.
The downturn started before the pandemic (albeit at far less dramatic levels), with flight taxes and climate change at the forefront of the Swedish public debate in recent years. In 2019 the number of passengers fell by four percent compared to the year before.
Total number of passengers at Sweden’s airports in 2020 (change compared to 2019 in brackets):
Bromma Stockholm: 478,680 (-80 percent)
Göteborg Landvetter: 1,576,788 (-76 percent)
Kiruna: 110,432 (-59 percent)
Luleå: 420,202 (-64 percent)
Malmö: 526,179 (-73 percent)
Ronneby: 50,835 (-75 percent)
Stockholm Arlanda: 6,535,429 (-75 percent)
Umeå: 292,728 (-70 percent)
Visby: 122,744 (-73 percent)
Åre Östersund: 140,572 (-70 percent)
In total: 10,254,589 (-74 percent)