With summer arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, travel apps will be on track to seeing the highest adoption in Europe since the summer of 2019. To that point, Sensor Tower’s State of Travel Apps in Europe report, available now, analyzes the category’s download and usage trends between January 2019 and May 2022.
Travel apps in Europe were hit hard by the on-and-off travel restrictions, resulting in a slowdown of mobile app adoption in Q2 2020. However, by the summer of 2021, installs soon returned to pre-pandemic levels, driven by booming categories such as Vacation Rental and Bike & Scooter. As Europe heads into the summer season, travel apps are forecasted to surpass 130 million downloads in Q2 2022, up 56 percent year-over-year.
Although European airline apps in Europe (not including the United Kingdom) saw a 20 percent boost in usage growth in late spring 2021, the usage of British Airline apps in Europe (not including the United Kingdom) was down 15 percent compared to January 2019. This discrepancy can be explained in part by the U.K.’s “traffic light” travel system, which set different rules around testing and quarantining in the country.
While all COVID-19 travel rules have now been lifted, these initial barriers to travel in the U.K. contributed to ongoing weak usage growth for U.K. based airline apps in the region into Q2 2022 Conversely, by May 2022, usage of the top airline apps in the United States, such as United and American Airlines, were significantly above pre-pandemic levels in Europe.
European markets have seen a surge in local transit apps likely due to the return to the office, soaring petrol prices, and governments’ public transport subsidies.Of the four European markets we analyzed, France recorded the largest increase in usage, with MAUs of local Transit apps reaching 2.7 million in April 2022, up 59 percent from 1.7 million during the same month in 2019. Germany and Italy have also recorded similar usage trends, with MAUs noticeably above pre-pandemic levels so far in 2022. Germany’s approval of public transport subsidies may push engagement up further in the upcoming months.
While usage caught up with pre-pandemic levels in April 2022, the U.K. remained an outlier among the cohort.
With European Travel app installs between April and June 15, 2022 above those recorded in Q2 2019, we will see continued app growth if typical seasonal trends continue into the end of summer 2022.
For more insights on European travel apps, download the full report below: