LONDON – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has stated that recovery has not started yet, due to there being no indications suggesting otherwise being highlighted at this time.
International travel numbers fell by 89% in February 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, with domestic flights showing a 51% decline as well.
Commenting on the news was IATA’s Director-General Willie Walsh who further clarified such statistics:
“February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel. In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants. An important exception was the Australian domestic market. A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel. This tells us that people have not lost their desire to travel. They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures,”Willie Walsh – Director-General of IATA
The table provided by IATA shows that Europe has been hit the hardest in terms of Revenue Per Kilometer (RPK), which is down 82.8% compared to February 2019. The Middle East comes second with 81.7% with Asia-Pacific in third with 74.9%.
The Middle East is also the worst for the load factors, recording a meagre 39.8%. Flights in Latin America are averaging the highest at 68.3% accordingly.
Domestic passenger markets, as expected, are producing better results than that of the international markets. The Russian Federation in particular is showing good strength so far, offering load factors of 83.4% and is the only market showing a positive RPK of 2.9%.
In terms of the negative RPKs, Brazil is producing the best results at -34.9%, and is still offering strong load factors of 77%.
What remains clear is that the data continues to show that the domestic markets will be the quicker area for recovery, when that does happen of course.
For now, all the industry can keep doing is relying on consumers to book holidays and hope that the pent-up demand will be utilised going into the summer.