The arrivals gate at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has been very quiet lately and will remain quiet until at least September. Many commercial flights remain grounded around the world, and many major airlines are operating at well below capacity, usually to bring nationals back to their home countries. While COVID-19 remains a global pandemic, the idea of air traffic returning to normal in the near-future is uncertain.
A single flight from Paris arrived at Nice Côte d’Azur on Sunday 3 May, other than that, the airport remained completely deserted for the rest of the day. With the exception of a few national flights and a few flights to England, all international traffic at Nice airport has stopped. Cancellations have just been extended until at least September 2020.
When COVID-19 became an international concern, Air China was the first to announce halting three weekly flights from Nice to Beijing. A few hours later, United Airlines and Delta Airlines cancelled their long-haul flights from the US to Nice. The two daily connections to New York will not resume until at least the fall.
Difficult Summer ahead for Monaco’s tourism industry
The announcement of these cancellations is difficult news for Monaco’s tourism industry. The hope of seeing international tourists enjoying the Monegasque summer has completely disappeared. The risk of further cancellations is high, which would be yet another economic blow for the entire region. International passenger traffic represents almost 70% of the airport’s activity.
On a more hopeful note, Air Transat, Air Canada, Aeroflot, Emirates and Qatar Airways have not changed their summer schedule as of yet.
Nice airport remains open for medical and emergency flights
Even in the absence of scheduled commercial flights, Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport is and will remain open to air traffic. According to the airport’s website, “All flights wishing to land in Nice-Côte d’Azur are and will be welcomed: state flights, medical flights, diverted flights, etc. and the airport has organized itself to meet any demand. There are no plans to close Nice-Côte d’Azur airport so it can maintain, at all costs, the continuity of Public Service.”