The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger demand in September remained highly depressed.
It revealed this week that the total demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was 72.8% below September 2019 levels, which was a slight improvement over the 75.2% year-to-year decline recorded in August.
The organisation also stated that capacity was down 63% compared to a year ago and load factor fell 21.8 percentage points to 60.1%.
IATA said in a statement that international passenger demand in September plunged 88.8% compared to September 2019, basically unchanged from the 88.5% decline recorded in August.
Domestic demand in September was down 43.3% compared to the previous year, improved from a 50.7% decline in August. Compared to 2019, capacity fell 33.3% and the load factor dropped 12.4 percentage points to 69.9%.
African airlines’ traffic sank by 88.5% in September, barely budged from an 88.7% drop in August. “Capacity contracted 74.7%, and load factor fell 39.4 percentage points to 32.6%, which was the second lowest among regions,” IATA revealed.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said the industry has “hit a wall in the industry’s recovery.”
He said with a resurgence in Covid-19 outbreaks, particularly in Europe and the US, combined with governments’ reliance on the “blunt instrument of quarantine in the absence of globally aligned testing regimes”, has halted momentum toward the reopening borders to travel.
He said: “Although domestic markets are doing better, this is primarily owing to improvements in China and Russia. And domestic traffic represents just a bit more than a third of total traffic, so it is not enough to sustain a general recovery.”