Crowds at Bucharest’s airport after Christmas. Passengers advised to arrive three hours ahead of flights

Air passenger traffic has doubled at the Henri Coanda airport in the Romanian capital. Airport authorities  are advising passengers to arrive three hours ahead of their flights as Covid-19 restrictions slow travel.

”Traffic has increased by about 100% compared to Christmas. We have had to increase the capacity for processing departures,” airport authorities said,  a press statement  said.

“All departure desks and passenger filters are operating at maximum. Airport managers have asked airlines and handling agents to make the necessary efforts and provide the staff to fluidize passenger,” the Bucharest National Airport Company said.

It asked passengers to respect Covid-19 restrictions, such as face masks and to avoid  crowding.

Passengers are advised to have PCR tests, vaccination certificates or proof they have had Covid in the last six months ready for checking.

“We call on passengers to be patient and understanding with airport staff who need to check medical documents as well as the usual ticket check and passport control.”

The statement said that there were extra health authorities and police at the airport, which is Romania’s busiest, to speed up the process.

“Most airports in Europe and around the world are facing a similar situation,” the statement added. “The winter holidays are a time when people travel a lot,” it added.

Some 14.7 million passengers used the Henri Coanda airport in 2019, the year before the pandemic, Mediafax reported. There has been a massive drop in air travel worldwide due to Covid-19 restrictions and uncertainty about travel.

Still, there are at least three million Romanians who work abroad. Many head back to Romania over the holiday period.

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