The air travel industries incurred a loss of 370 billion dollars with seating capacity falling by around 50 per cent in 2020 that left just 1.8 billion passengers taking flights, compared to around 4.5 billion passengers in 2019.
In its latest report, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said that international passenger traffic suffered a 60 per cent drop over 2020. Air Travel began to see a dip from January 2020 with Covid 19 pandemic already starting to spread across the globe. In January, dip was limited was limited to only a few countries. However, air transport activities came to a virtual standstill by the end of March as Covid 19 continued its spread.
The ICAO said that overall number of passengers fell by 92 per cent in April, an average of the 98 per cent fall in international traffic and 87 per cent in domestic travel. The Agency said that the air traffic rebounded during the summer travel period. However, this was short-lived and turned worse in September when the second wave of infection led to more restrictive measures. Disparity between domestic and international recoveries
The Aviation agency pointed out that there was much disparity between domestic and international air travel impacts. The ICAO said that domestic air travel showed stronger resilience and dominated traffic recovery scenarios.
domestic passenger traffic saw a 50 per cent drop globally and international traffic dropped by 74 per cent.
. The report said that Asia, Pacific and North American regions led the global recovery in passenger totals because of domestic markets. Europe saw a temporary comeback but saw a downward trend from September. Traffic in Caribbean and Latin American countries saw improvements in the fourth quarter
paralyzed revenue streams led to severe liquidity strains across aviation value chain.
As such, the industry’s financial viability was in question and a threat to millions of jobs, the report said. Of the 370 billion dollar revenue fall, Asia/Pacific saw a loss of 120 billion dollars, Europe 100 billion dollars, North America 88 billion dollars, Latin America 26 billion, Caribbean 22 billion and Middle East and Africa, saw a loss of 14 billion dollars.
The IOCA expects improvement in the global air travel only by the second quarter of 2021. However, this would depend on effectiveness of pandemic management and vaccination roll out, the association added. It forecast that passenger numbers will recover 71 per cent by June 2021.