According to IATA, demand has been improved in April driven by domestic flights
Total demand for air travel in April 2021 (measured in passengers per revenue kilometers or RPK) decreased by 65.4% compared to April 2019
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that domestic travel demand improved in April 2021 compared to the previous month, although it remained well below pre-pandemic levels, while the recovery in international passenger travel continued. stuck before the government. -travel restrictions imposed.
Because comparisons between the 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are to April 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.
Total air travel demand in April 2021 (measured in passengers per revenue kilometers or RPK) decreased 65.4% compared to April 2019. That was an improvement over the 66.9% decrease recorded in March 2021 compared to March 2019. The better performance was due to earnings. in most national markets.
International passenger demand in April was 87.3% lower than in April 2019, little changed from the 87.8% decline in March 2021 compared to two years ago.
Total domestic demand fell 25.7% compared to pre-crisis levels (April 2019), much better compared to March 2021, when domestic traffic decreased 31.6% compared to the period 2019. As in March, all markets except Brazil and India showed an improvement compared to March 2021, with both China and Russia reporting traffic growth compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.
“The continued strong recovery in domestic markets tells us that when people have the freedom to fly, they take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that freedom does not yet exist in most international markets. When it does, I am confident that we will see a similar resurgence in demand, ”said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General.
April international traffic of Asia-Pacific airlines decreased 94.4% compared to April 2019, gradually improved compared to the 94.9% decrease recorded in March 2021 compared to March 2019. The region experienced the steepest traffic drops for the ninth consecutive month. Capacity was down 86.3% and load factor plunged 47.7 percentage points to 33.5%, the lowest among regions.
European operators experienced a traffic decrease of 87.7% in April compared to April 2019, barely changed from the decrease of 88.2% in March compared to the same month in 2019. Capacity fell by 78.2% and the load factor fell 37.3 percentage points to 48.4%.
Middle East airlines recorded an 82.9% drop in demand in April compared to April 2019, which was weaker than the 81.6% drop in March, compared to the same month in 2019. The Capacity decreased 65.3% and load factor fell 41.1 percentage points to 39.6%.
April demand from North American airlines fell 77.9% compared to the 2019 period, an improvement over the 80.9% decrease in March compared to two years ago. Capacity sank 59.3% and load factor fell 37.8 percentage points to 45.0%.
Latin American airlines experienced a demand drop of 81.1% in April compared to the same month in 2019, slightly improving on the 82.1% drop in March compared to March 2019. Capacity in April was reduced 75.8% and the load factor fell 18.0 percentage points to 64.6%. which was the highest load factor among the regions for the seventh consecutive month.
African airline traffic fell 78.3% in April compared to April two years ago, marking a significant deterioration compared to a 73.7% decrease in March compared to March 2019. April capacity contracted 64.0% compared to April 2019, and load factor fell 29.1 percentage points to 43.9%.
China's domestic traffic returned to pre-crisis growth levels, with demand increasing by 6.8% in April compared to April 2019. In March, demand was stable compared to the same month two years ago.
Domestic US traffic decreased 34.9% in April compared to the same month in 2019, much better than the 43.9% decline in March compared to two years ago. The US domestic market is expected to fully recover by the end of this year or early 2022.
The bottom line
“As we enter the peak summer travel season in the Northern Hemisphere, we know that many people want to enjoy their freedom to travel. But for that to happen safely and efficiently amid the COVID-19 crisis, a more specific approach is needed. Today, most government policies establish by default the closure of borders. After a year and a half of COVID-19, there is enough data for governments to manage COVID-19 risks without blanket travel bans.
“We have, for example, strong indications from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Koch Institute and others that vaccinated travelers have very little risk to the local population. And data shows that pre-departure testing largely eliminates the risk of unvaccinated travelers importing COVID. Data from the UK confirm that around 98% of passengers who arrived detained on universal quarantine orders emerged from confinement with no signs of the disease.
“Last week we partnered with Airbus and Boeing to demonstrate potential methodologies to manage COVID-19 risks to keep populations safe as we restart global connectivity. Governments are naturally risk averse, but successfully managing risk is the lifeblood of aviation. With signs that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, governments and industry must work together to rebuild global connectivity while managing the associated risks. The leadership of the G7 to move in this direction would be a great step forward. The safe restoration of the freedom to travel and the reconnection of countries will boost economic growth and job creation, ”said Walsh.