Scandinavia's Busiest Airport Compares Coronavirus Outbreak With World War II

© AP Photo / Polfoto, Thorkild AmdiA man makes a phone call in Copenhagen International Airport in Kastrup
A man makes a phone call in Copenhagen International Airport in Kastrup  - Sputnik International
Copenhagen Airport has seen a “unprecedented” 33 percent decline compared with expected figures and is under “strong pressure”, as its CEO has admitted.

Kastrup, Copenhagen's airport, is currently experiencing a dramatic drop in the number of passengers flying both to and from Denmark. According to the airport staff, the coronavirus outbreak is the cause of the decline.

Kastrup staff said there is currently a 33 percent decline compared to what was otherwise expected for the season, which puts Kastrup under “strong pressure”, in the words of CEO Thomas Woldbye.

“We are experiencing an unprecedented reduction in the number of passengers. Everything is being dramatically affected, and it's happening very, very suddenly. That's what is so different. It's not something that has happened over time,” Woldbye told Danish Radio.

The number of passengers declined sharply after the COVID-19 coronavirus manifested itself in Denmark.

“The consequences for aviation have been of an unprecedented magnitude. We haven't seen anything like this since World War II,” Woldbye said. “As an airport, this means that our earnings are under intense pressure. Airlines' earnings are under intense pressure too. And we need to take a number of steps to make sure we can get through this crisis,” he added.

In a matter of some two weeks, the number of infected people in Denmark has gone from 0 to 90, and spurred the government into announcing a number of measures. Among other things, the government has cautioned its citizens not to travel to specific areas and countries of the world most his by the coronavirus, such as China and northern Italy, while recommending that all events with over 1,000 participants be cancelled.

On Monday, five government ministers, including Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of the ruling Social Democrats, will meet with representatives from the business community to talk about the consequences the spread of coronavirus may have in the future.

Thomas Woldbye hopes the government will manage to find a solution to put the outbreak in check. Otherwise, he envisaged very serious consequences not only for aviation, but also for hotels, restaurants and tourism in general.

“Aviation is affected, and it also means that important related community functions are also affected. And other industries will be hit very hard as well,” Woldbye stressed.

Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup is Denmark's main international airport that serves Copenhagen, the rest of Zealand and the entire Øresund Region, including a large part of southern Sweden. It is the largest airport in the Nordic countries, with 30 million passengers in 2018, and is one of the oldest international airports in Europe.

​So far, there have been 114,431 registered COVID-19 cases across the globe, most of them in China's Hubei province, where the outbreak originated. While the outbreak has resulted in 4,027 deaths, over 64,000 have successfully recovered.

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