Urgent appeal from IATA: re-open borders and continue relief to sustain aviation

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on governments to work together to urgently find ways to re-establish global connectivity by re-opening borders and to continue with relief measures to sustain airlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

IATA’s call reflects deep frustration with government policies such as closed borders, travel restrictions and quarantines that continue to annihilate travel demand.

This was evident in a disappointing “peak (Northern Hemisphere) summer travel season” that saw minimal improvements compared to the May-June period, as four in five potential travelers stayed home compared to a year ago.

Air passenger demand in July continued at critically low levels–79.8% below July 2019, reported IATA this week. The dismal showing was slightly better than the 86.6% year-over-year decline recorded in June, and was primarily driven by domestic markets, most notably Russia and China.

The reopening in the Schengen area helped to boost international demand in Europe, but other inter-national markets showed little change from June. Capacity was 70.1% below 2019 levels and load factor sagged to a record low for July, at 57.9%.


International Passenger Markets

July international passenger demand collapsed 91.9% compared to July 2019, slightly better than the 96.8% decline recorded in June. Capacity plummeted 85.2%, and load factor sank 38.9 percentage points to 46.4%.
Europe. July demand toppled 87.1% compared to last year, improved from a 96.7% drop in June. This reflects the relaxation of travel restrictions in the Schengen Area

Asia-Pacific. Airlines traffic dived 96.5% in July compared to the year-ago period, virtually unchanged from a 97.1% drop in June, and the steepest contraction among regions

Middle East. Airlines posted a 93.3% traffic decline for July, compared with a 96.1% demand drop in June.

North American carriers saw a 94.5% traffic decline in July, a slight uptick from a 97.1% decline in June. Capacity fell 86.1%.
Latin America. Air traffic demand fell by 95% in July, compared to last year, versus a 96.6% drop in June. Capacity fell 92.6%.
African airlines’ traffic dropped 94.6% in July, somewhat improved from a 97.8% contraction in June.