In its latest analysis of air traffic, the union said that domestic demand decreased in September by 43.3% compared to the previous year, an improvement from a 50.7% decline in August compared to 2019, capacity decreased by 33.3% and load factor decreased by 12.4 percentage points to 69.9%.
We have reached a stalemate in the aviation industry’s recovery and the increase in COVID-19 outbreaks – particularly in Europe and the United States, coupled with governments’ reliance on a crude quarantine tool in the absence of globally compatible testing systems, halted the momentum toward reopening borders for travel, the federation said.
In turn, IATA Director General and CEO Alexander de Juniac said that although domestic markets are performing better, this is primarily due to improvements in China and Russia.
He explained that international passenger markets witnessed a collapse in European airline demand in September by 82.5% compared to last year, which was a setback compared to a decrease of 80.5% in August. He pointed out that Europe is the only region that witnessed a deterioration in traffic compared to August due to renewed injuries that led to a wave of border closures, capacity shrinking by 70.7%, and the load factor decreased by 35.1 percentage points to 51.8%.
He added that the traffic of Asia Pacific airlines decreased by 95.8% in September compared to the same period last year, virtually unchanged from a decrease of 96.2% in August, and airlines in the Middle East recorded a decrease in traffic of 90.2% for the month of September, improving from the decrease in demand. By 92.3% in August, capacity decreased by 78.5% and load factor decreased by 40.9 percentage points to 34.4%.
He noted that North American airlines recorded a decrease in traffic of 91.3% in September, which is a slight improvement from a decrease of 92.0% in August, and that airlines in Latin America faced a decrease in demand of 92.2% in September compared to the same month last year against a decrease. 93.4% in August versus August 2019 percentage to 53.3%, the highest among regions. Whereas African airline traffic decreased by 88.5% in September, capacity shrank by 74.7%, and load factor decreased 39.4 percentage points to 32.6%, the second-lowest among the regions.