Air Travel: After April Passenger Demand Trough, First Signals of Uptick

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that demand for air services is beginning to recover after hitting bottom in April. Passenger demand in April (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs), plunged 94.3% compared to April 2019, as the COVID-19-related travel restrictions virtually shut down domestic and international air travel. This is a rate of decline never seen in the history of IATA’s traffic series, which dates back to 1990.

More recently, figures show that daily flight totals rose 30% between the low point on 21 April and 27 May. This is primarily in domestic operations and off of a very low base (5.7% of 2019 demand). While this uptick is not significant to the global dimension of the air transport industry, it does suggest that the industry has seen the bottom of the crisis, provided there is no recurrence. In addition, it is the very first signal of aviation beginning the likely long process of reestablishing connectivity.

 “April was a disaster for aviation as air travel almost entirely stopped. But April may also represent the nadir of the crisis. Flight numbers are increasing. Countries are beginning to lift mobility restrictions. And business confidence is showing improvement in key markets such as China, Germany, and the US. These are positive signs as we start to rebuild the industry from a stand-still. The initial green shoots will take time—possibly years—to mature,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA calculated that by the first week of April, governments in 75% of the markets tracked by IATA completely banned entry, while an additional 19% had limited travel restrictions or compulsory quarantine requirements for international arrivals. The initial flight increases have been concentrated in domestic markets. Data from late May show that flight levels in the Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam have risen to a point now just 22-28% lower than a year earlier. Searches for air travel on Google also were up 25% by the end of May compared to the April low, although that’s a rise from a very low base and still 60% lower than at the start of the year.

The Bottom Line

“For aviation, April was our cruellest month. Governments had to take drastic action to slow the pandemic. But that has come with the economic cost of a traumatic global recession. Airlines will be key to economic recovery. It is vital that the aviation industry is ready with bio-safety measures that passengers and air transport workers have confidence in. That’s why the speedy implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) global guidelines for safely re-starting aviation is the top priority,” said de Juniac.

 The ICAO Council’s “Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis” is the authoritative and comprehensive framework of risk-based temporary measures for air transport operations during the COVID-19 crisis. These were developed through broad-based consultations with governments, the World Health Organization, and with key advice from aviation industry groups including IATA, Airports Council International (ACI World), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).

 “We fully support its recommendations and look forward to working with governments for a well-coordinated implementation. The world cannot afford to delay,” said de Juniac.

You might also like

Latest

Sabre Travel network adds Jerome Thil to expanding Asia Pacific team

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) has named Jerome Thil vice president of marketing for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, Jerome will lead marketing for Sabre Travel Network’s GDS

Slider

Berggruen Hotels launches Keys Lite Mayfield in the heart of Gurugram

Keys Hotels grows its portfolio in the North India with this 4th hotel in the region Berggruen Hotels, part of the $2 billion Los Angeles-based Berggruen Group, today announced the

Transport

Mumbai-Goa cruise to begin from August 1: Nitin Gadkari

“The first cruise between Mumbai and Goa having capacity of 500 people would start from August 1,” he added. Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said Mumbai-Goa cruise will start from the

Slider

Domestic air passenger traffic up by 15% in March

The deceleration in the domestic air traffic growth continues for the second consecutive month this year with the demand for travel going up nearly 15 per cent to 90.45 lakh

Latest

South African Tourism looks forward to welcoming Indian Cricket fans

South African Tourism is delighted to extend a warm welcome to the Indian Cricket team and travelling fans. The excitement is palpable with the Men in Bluegearing up for their

At Niti Aayog meet, PM Modi analyzes budget, skills, tourism

PM Narendra Modi, for the first time, attended an interaction with a set of noted economists and experts recently, in which he called for innovative approaches to budget-making, and a

Latest

Jordan announces India arrival figures — unprecedented growth of 18.40%

The Jordan Tourism Board has announced the 2016 Indian arrival figures to Jordan. In a unprecedented trend, the same day visitor arrivals from India has declined by 4.50%, which indicates

Destinations

‘Oman’ for destination wedding and celebrations

~ Home to some of the finest five star resorts with scintillating landscape in the backdrop ~ Oman comprises of beautiful beaches, picturesque mountains and golden desert sands. A destination

Latest

Emaar launches ‘Address Al Marjan Island’ Hotel

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, announced the launch of the company’s first hotel and residences project in Ras Al Khaimah, at the Arabian Hospitality Investment Conference 2018. Located in

Latest

AirAsia X to Resume Delhi Flights

AirAsia X will relaunch flights to Delhi in February 2016, four years after it suspended the service. The Malaysian low-cost carrier has confirmed that it will start operating four weekly

Latest

Co-living startup COVIE to start with 3000+ beds in Pune, Bangalore, and Mumbai

The only player in India catering to all 3 forms of co-living for students, professionals, and senior citizens Swapnali Bhosale Kadam and Abhishek Kumar two experienced real estate Entrepreneurs have launched COVIE, a new

Sinclairs Hotels launches Mobile App

Sinclairs Hotels is pleased to announce the launch of its Mobile App.  The Mobile App can be downloaded free of cost in either Android or IOS platform. The App is