Air Services Rises From The Dead

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 had plunged by 94.3 percent compared to April 2019, as Covid-19 induced travel restrictions had shut down both domestic and international air travel.

However, more recently. figures have shown that daily flight totals rose by 30 percent between the low point on April 21 and May 27. Primary flights taking off were domestic operations.

“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 Chief Executive Officer.

The Association has further calculated that by the first week of April, governments in over 75 percent  of the markets tracked have completely banned entry, while an additional 19 percent limited travel restrictions or compulsory quarantine requirements.

Data from late May show that flight levels in Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam have risen to a point now just 22 to 28 percent lower than a year earlier.

IATA further stated that searches for air travel on Google were up by 25 percent by the end of May compared to the April low. While this is indicated as a rise from the lows recorded, the numbers are still 60 percent lower than the start of the year.

For aviation, April was our cruelest 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 the economic recovery,” said de Juniac.

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