Less air traffic in February 2020

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
In February 2020, the aviation industry in the Netherlands recorded a year-on-year decline in the number of air passengers for the first time in seven years. Passenger traffic to and from Dutch airports still rose by 1.8 percent in January, but this was down by 1.3 percent in February. The number of passengers flying to and from Asia dropped by almost 19 percent in February relative to the same month last year. The coronavirus crisis in Asia was already in full swing then. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on the latest figures.

Dutch passenger arrivals and departures by origin or destination
werelddeelJanuary (year-on-year % change)February (year-on-year % change)
Asia-1.75-18.82
North America4.195.49
Central and South America-0.934.27
Africa0.306.21
Europe2.44-0.40

Sharp drop in passenger traffic to and from China and Hong Kong

Since the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a sharp decline in the number of air passengers to and from mainland China and Hong Kong, in particular. In February 2019, passenger traffic between the Netherlands and China still stood at 89.4 thousand, versus 19.7 thousand last month; this represents a year-on-year decrease of 78 percent. For example, Dutch air carrier KLM has suspended all flights to mainland China since 4 February. The number of passengers travelling to and from Hong Kong fell from 31.3 thousand in February 2019 to 18.1 thousand twelve months later, a 42-percent decline. In the same month, passenger traffic to and from Singapore and South Korea declined by 3.5 and 2.6 percent respectively.

Air passenger traffic to and from the Netherlands by origin or destination
jaarmaandChina (x 1,000)Hong Kong (x 1,000)Singapore (x 1,000)South Korea (x 1,000)
2019January102362823
2019February89312420
2019March98352722
2019April112362622
2019May117372625
2019June115362727
2019July126372728
2019August128352629
2019September124352626
2019October115352627
2019November102352723
2019December98363125
2020January104372824
2020February20182320

Fewer passenger flights between the Netherlands and China

The air traffic decline between the Netherlands and China in February primarily concerned passenger flights. In February 2019, there were 341 passenger flights between the Netherlands and China versus 122 last month, i.e. a 64-percent drop. The number of passenger flights to and from Hong Kong was down by 2.7 percent in the same period.

Measures taken by authorities and airline companies in February mainly concerned air passenger rather than cargo traffic. The number of cargo flights to and from China rose from 189 in February 2019 to 202 last month, representing an increase of nearly 7 percent.

Passenger and cargo flights to and from the Netherlands
jaarmaandChina - passenger flightsChina - cargo flightsHong Kong - passenger flightsHong Kong - cargo flights
2019January38327412115
2019February34118911113
2019March37928012021
2019April42725012026
2019May44224112429
2019June42422112018
2019July4402291229
2019August43222012016
2019September43024811817
2019October43223812429
2019November38325411923
2019December39423912414
2020January39822812415
2020February1222021087

Sources