Global Air Passenger Demand Recovery Witnessed a Halt in Nov: IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said the recovery in air passenger demand, which had been slowing since the Northern hemisphere’s summer travel season, came to a halt in November 2020. Total demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres was down 70.3 per cent compared to November 2019, virtually unchanged from the 70.6 per cent year-to-year decline recorded in October.

November capacity was 58.6 per cent below previous year levels and load factor fell 23 percentage points to 58 per cent, which was a record low for the month. International passenger demand in November was 88.3 per cent below November 2019, slightly worse than the 87.6 per cent year-to-year decline recorded in October.

Capacity fell 77.4 per cent below previous year levels and load factor dropped 38.7 percentage points to 41.5 per cent. Europe was the main driver of the weakness as new lockdowns weighed on travel demand. Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright spot, also stalled with November domestic traffic down 41 per cent compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1 per cent below the previous year’s level in October).

Capacity was 27.1 per cent down on 2019 levels and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6 per cent.

“The already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a full stop in November. That is because governments responded to new outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“This is clearly inefficient. Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer a long-term solution. In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start the economic recovery,” he said in a statement.

“How much more anguish do people need to go through — job losses, mental stress — before governments will understand that?” asked de Juniac.

Asia Pacific airlines’ November traffic plunged 95 per cent compared to the year-ago period which was barely changed from the 95.3 per cent decline in October.

The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a fifth consecutive month. Capacity dropped 87.4 per cent and load factor sank 48.4 percentage points to 31.6 per cent, the lowest among regions.

India’s domestic traffic fell 49.6 per cent in November, an improvement over a 55.6 per cent decline in October, with more improvement expected as more businesses reopen.

SMEStreet Edit Desk

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