European air travel is finally returning, thanks to a barrage of cheap tickets from discount carriers and the relatively smooth rollout of a continentwide vaccination-certification system.

Until just recently, U.S. and China domestic air-travel markets have been booming, with passengers taking advantage of what had been a fall in Covid-19 cases in both places. In the U.S., a robust vaccination drive also boosted traveler confidence.

Intra-continental travel in Europe, though, has remained stuck far below pre-2019 levels, largely because the market is so heavily dependent on cross-border flights. Those have been curtailed by government restrictions meant to contain the virus, including quarantine requirements, testing and vaccinations.


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