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Air Cargo Posts Strongest First Half-Year Growth Since 2017

Data for global air cargo markets for June showing a 9.9% improvement on pre-COVID-19 performance (June 2019).

This pushed first half-year air cargo growth to 8%, its strongest first half performance since 2017 (when the industry posted 10.2% year-on-year growth).

As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons to follow are to June 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Global demand for June 2021, measured in cargo tonne-kilometers (CTKs*), was up 9.9% compared to June 2019.
  • Regional variations in performance are significant. North American carriers contributed 5.9 percentage points (ppts) to the 9.9% growth rate in June. Middle East carriers contributed 2.1 ppts, European airlines 1.6 ppts, African airlines 0.5 ppts and Asia-Pacific carriers 0.3 ppts. Latin American carriers did not support the growth, shaving 0.5 ppts off the total.
  • Overall capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTKs), remained constrained at 10.8% below pre-COVID-19 levels (June 2019) due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft. Belly capacity was down 38.9% on June 2019 levels, partially offset by a 29.7% increase in dedicated freighter capacity.
  • Underlying economic conditions and favorable supply chain dynamics remain highly supportive for air cargo:
    • The US inventory to sales ratio is at a record low. This means that businesses have to quickly refill their stocks, and typically use air cargo to do so.
  • The Purchasing Managers Indices (PMIs) – leading indicators of air cargo demand – show that business confidence, manufacturing output and new export orders are growing at a rapid pace in most economies. Concerns of a significant consumer shift from goods to services have not materialized.
  • The cost-competitiveness and reliability of air cargo relative to that of container shipping has improved. The average price of air cargo relative to shipping has reduced considerably. And scheduling reliability of ocean carriers has dropped, in May it was around 40% compared to 70-80% prior to the crisis.

“Air cargo is doing brisk business as the global economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. With first-half demand 8% above pre-crisis levels, air cargo is a revenue lifeline for many airlines as they struggle with border closures that continue to devastate the international passenger business. Importantly, the strong first-half performance looks set to continue,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.  

JUNE 2021
% VS JUNE 2019
WORLDSHARE1 CTK ACTK CLF(%-PT)​2 CLF(LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100%
9.9%
-10.8%
10.7%
56.5%
Africa
2.0%
32.0%
-7.0%
14.2%
48.0%
Asia Pacific
32.6%
0.9%
-21.6%
15.0%
67.6%
Europe
22.3%
6.7%
-15.0%
12.7%
62.6%
Latin America
2.4%
-19.9%
-23.0%
1.5%
38.1%
Middle East
13.0%
17.1%
-8.9%
12.9%
58.1%
North America
27.8%
24.0%
3.7%
7.5%
45.8%

(1) % of industry CTKs in 2020   (2) Change in load factor vs same month in 2019    (3) Load factor level

June Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for international air cargo increase by 3.8% in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. International capacity remained constrained in the region, down 19.8% versus June 2019. Even though demand remains high, the region faces moderate headwinds from the lack of international capacity and manufacturing PMIs that are not as strong as in Europe and the US.

North American carriers posted a 23.4% increase in international demand in June 2021 compared to June 2019. Underlying economic conditions and favorable supply chain dynamics remain supportive for air cargo carriers in North America. International capacity decreased by 2.1% compared with June 2019.

European carriers posted a 6.6% increase in international demand in June 2021 compared to the same month in 2019. International capacity decreased by 16.2% in June 2021 versus June 2019. Manufacturing PMIs are very strong in Europe indicating that market dynamics remain supportive for air cargo carriers in Europe.

Middle Eastern carriers posted a 17.1% rise in international cargo volumes in June 2021 versus June 2019, boosted by strong performances on the Middle East to Asia and Middle East to North America trade routes. International capacity in June was down 9% compared to the same month in 2019.

Latin American carriers reported a decline of 22.9% in international cargo volumes in June compared to the 2019 period. This was the worst performance of all regions and a weakening of performance compared to the previous month. International capacity decreased 28.4% in June 2021 compared to June 2019. This weak performance is mostly due to local airlines losing market share to carriers from other regions.

African airlines’ international cargo demand in June increased 33.5% compared to the same month in 2019. This was the strongest performance of all regions, but notably on small volumes (African carriers carry 2% of global cargo). International capacity in June decreased by 4.9% compared to the same month in 2019.

Download complete Air Cargo Market Analysis for June 2021

Read more...

From Bad to Worse: January Passenger Demand Falls Further

Passenger traffic fell in January 2021, both compared to pre-COVID levels (January 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (December 2020).

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to January 2019 which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Total demand in January 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 72.0% compared to January 2019. That was worse than the 69.7% year-over-year decline recorded in December 2020.
  • Total domestic demand was down 47.4% versus pre-crisis (January 2019) levels. In December it was down 42.9% on the previous year. This weakening is largely driven by stricter domestic travel controls in China over the Lunar New Year holiday period.
  • International passenger demand in January was 85.6% below January 2019, a further drop compared to the 85.3% year-to-year decline recorded in December.

“2021 is starting off worse than 2020 ended and that is saying a lot. Even as vaccination programs gather pace, new COVID variants are leading governments to increase travel restrictions. The uncertainty around how long these restrictions will last also has an impact on future travel. Forward bookings in February this year for the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season were 78% below levels in February 2019,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

JANUARY 2021 (%CHG. VS 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-72.0%
-58.7%
-25.7%
54.1%
Africa
1.9%
-63.9%
-53.0%
-16.4%
54.4%
Asia Pacific
38.6%
-71.5%
-59.0%
-24.8%
56.6%
Europe
23.7%
-77.4%
-68.7%
-22.4%
57.6%
Latin America
5.7%
-58.0%
-49.5%
-13.9%
68.5%
Middle East
7.4%
-80.7%
-65.8%
-32.4%
42.2%
North America
22.7%
-67.5%
-46.5%
-31.2%
48.4%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2020    2) Change in load factor vs. the same month in 2019    3) Load Factor Level

International Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific airlines’ January traffic plummeted 94.6% compared to the 2019 period, virtually unchanged from the 94.4% decline registered for December 2020 compared to a year ago. The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a seventh consecutive month. Capacity dropped 86.5% and load factor sank 49.4 percentage points to 32.6%, by far the lowest among regions.

European carriers had an 83.2% decline in traffic in January versus January 2019, worsened from an 82.6% decline in December compared to the same month in 2019. Capacity sank 73.6% and load factor fell by 29.2 percentage points to 51.4%.

Middle Eastern airlines saw demand plunge 82.3% in January compared to January 2019, which was broadly unchanged from an 82.6% demand drop in December versus a year ago. Capacity fell 67.6%, and load factor declined 33.9 percentage points to 40.8%.

North American carriers’ January traffic fell 79.0% compared to the 2019 period, up slightly from a 79.5% decline in December year to year. Capacity sagged 60.5%, and load factor dropped 37.8 percentage points to 42.9%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 78.5% demand drop in January, compared to the same month in 2019, worsened from a 76.2% decline in December year-to-year. January capacity was 67.9% down compared to January 2019 and load factor dropped 27.2 percentage points to 55.3%, highest among the regions for a fourth consecutive month.

African airlines’ traffic dropped 66.1% in January, which was a modest improvement compared to a 68.8% decline recorded in December versus a year ago. January capacity contracted 54.2% versus January 2019, and load factor fell 18.4 percentage points to 52.3%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

JANUARY 2021 (%CHG. VS 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
54.3%
-47.4%
-30.5%
-19.3%
60.1%
Dom. Australia
0.7%
-81.6%
-77.8%
-13.3%
64.8%
Dom. Brazil
1.6%
-31.4%
-29.4%
-2.4%
81.6%
Dom. China P.R.
19.9%
-33.9%
-15.1%
-18.2%
64.0%
Dom India
2.1%
-37.6%
-22.5%
-16.8%
69.3%
Dom. Japan
1.5%
-71.3%
-39.9%
-35.0%
31.9%
Dom. Russian Fed.
3.4%
5.5%
-0.7%
4.7%
80.1%
Dom. US
16.6%
-60.3%
-37.8%
-28.7%
50.5%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2020    2) Change in load factor vs. the same month in 2019    3) Load Factor Level

China’s domestic traffic was down 33.9% in January compared to January 2019, dramatically worsened compared to the 8.5% year-over-year decline in December. The fall was owing to stricter traffic controls ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday period amid several localized COVID-19 outbreaks.

Russia’s domestic traffic, by contrast, rose 5.5% compared to January 2019, a turnaround from the 12.0% year-to-year decline in December versus the same month in 2019. It was driven by a fall in COVID-19 cases since a peak late in December and by national holidays in the first week of the month.

The Bottom Line

“To say that 2021 has not gotten off to a good start is an understatement. Financial prospects for the year are worsening as governments tighten travel restrictions. We now expect the industry to burn through $75-$95 billion in cash this year, rather than turning cash positive in the fourth quarter, as previously thought. This is not something that the industry will be able to endure without additional relief measures from governments.

Increased testing capability and vaccine distribution are the keys for governments to unlock economic activity, including travel. It is critical that governments build and share their restart plans along with the benchmarks that will guide them. This will enable the industry to be prepared to energize the recovery without any unnecessary delay,” said de Juniac.

Global standards to securely record test and vaccination data in formats that will be internationally recognized are urgently needed. “These will be critical to restarting international travel if governments continue to require verified testing or vaccination data. IATA will soon launch the IATA Travel Pass to help travelers and governments manage digital health credentials. But the full benefit of IATA Travel Pass cannot be realized until governments agree the standards for the information they want,” said de Juniac.

Read more...

Passenger Demand Recovery Grinds to a Halt in November

  • Total demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 70.3% compared to November 2019, virtually unchanged from the 70.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. November capacity was 58.6% below previous year levels and load factor fell 23.0 percentage points to 58.0%, which was a record low for the month.
  • International passenger demand in November was 88.3% below November 2019, slightly worse than the 87.6% year-to-year decline recorded in October. Capacity fell 77.4% below previous year levels, and load factor dropped 38.7 percentage points to 41.5%. Europe was the main driver of the weakness as new lockdowns weighed on travel demand.
  • Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright spot, also stalled, with November domestic traffic down 41.0% compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1% below the previous year’s level in October). Capacity was 27.1% down on 2019 levels and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6%.

“The already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a full stop in November. That’s because governments responded to new outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures.  This is clearly inefficient. Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution. In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start the economic recovery. How much more anguish do people need to go through—job losses, mental stress—before governments will understand that?” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

NOV 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-70.3%
-58.6%
-23.0%
58.0%
Africa
2.1%
-75.6%
-63.6%
-23.4%
47.4%
Asia Pacific
34.6%
-61.6%
-52.9%
-15.0%
66.4%
Europe
26.8%
-82.2%
-71.6%
-31.2%
52.3%
Latin America
5.1%
-59.8%
-55.3%
-8.3%
74.0%
Middle East
9.1%
-84.5%
-69.5%
-36.1%
37.2%
North America
22.3%
-67.6%
-48.7%
-30.1%
51.8%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2019  2) Year-on-year change in load factor 3) Load Factor Level

International Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic plunged 95.0% compared to the year-ago period, which was barely changed from the 95.3% decline in October. The region continued to suffer from the steepest traffic declines for a fifth consecutive month. Capacity dropped 87.4% and load factor sank 48.4 percentage points to 31.6%, the lowest among regions.

European carriers saw an 87.0% decline in traffic in November versus a year ago, worsened from an 83% decline in October. Capacity withered 76.5% and load factor fell by 37.4 percentage points to 46.6%.

Middle Eastern airlines’ demand plummeted 86.0% in November year-to-year, which was improved from an 86.9% demand drop in October. Capacity fell 71.0%, and load factor declined 37.9 percentage points to 35.3%.

North American carriers had an 83.0% traffic drop in November, versus an 87.8% decline in October. Capacity dived 66.1%, and load factor dropped 40.5 percentage points to 40.8%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 78.6% demand drop in November, compared to the same month last year, improved from an 86.1% decline in October year-to-year. This was the strongest improvement of any region. Routes to/from Central America were the most resilient as governments reduced travel restrictions—especially quarantine requirements. November capacity was 72.0% down and load factor dropped 19.5 percentage points to 62.7%, highest by far among the regions, for a second consecutive month.

African airlines’ traffic sank 76.7% in November, little changed from a 77.2% drop in October, but the best performance among the regions. Capacity contracted 63.7%, and load factor fell 25.2 percentage points to 45.2%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

NOV 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
36.2%
-41.0%
-27.1%
-15.7%
66.6%
Dom. Australia
0.8%
-79.8%
-70.8%
-25.8%
57.8%
Dom. Brazil
1.1%
-34.5%
-36.0%
1.8%
84.5%
Dom. China P.R.
9.8%
-4.8%
6.0%
-8.5%
74.7%
Dom India
1.6%
-49.6%
-37.8%
-17.0%
72.8%
Dom. Japan
1.1%
-39.5%
-25.6%
-14.7%
64.0%
Dom. Russian Fed.
1.5%
-23.0%
-14.0%
-8.4%
71.6%
Dom. US
14.0%
-59.9%
-39.9%
-27.4%
54.8%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2019   2) Year-on-year change in load factor 3) Load Factor Level

Australia’s domestic traffic was down 79.8% in November compared to November a year ago, improved from an 84.4% decline in October, as certain states opened up. But it continued to significantly lag other domestic markets.

India’s domestic traffic fell 49.6% in November, an improvement over a 55.6% decline in October, with more improvement expected as more businesses reopen.

View the full November Air Passenger Market Analysis

Read more...

Impact Of COVID-19 On African Aviation And Economies Is Worsening

"COVID-19 has devastated African economies and brought air connectivity across the continent to a virtual standstill. And the situation is getting worse. The economic consequences resulting from a disconnected continent are severe.

Millions of jobs and livelihoods are at risk in family-run enterprises and large corporations along the entire travel and tourism value chain. For Africa’s economic recovery and future prosperity, it is essential to expedite the safe restart of the industry,” said Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

  • Job losses in aviation and related industries could increase by up to 3.5 million. That is more than half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment and 400,000 more than the previous estimate.
  • Full-year 2020 traffic is expected to plummet by 54% (more than 80 million passenger journeys) compared to 2019. Previous estimate was a fall of 51%.
  • GDP supported by aviation in the region could fall by up to $35 billion. IATA previously estimated a $28 billion decline.

Restarting African Aviation

To minimize the impact on jobs and the broader African economy an accelerated recovery of air transport across the continent is vital. This can be achieved through government action in two priority areas:

1. Harmonizing the restart of air transport in Africa

The harmonized adoption of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) Take-off guidance – the global biosafety framework for the safe restart of aviation - is critical for the safe resumption of air transport. To avoid conflicting measures, disruptions and inefficiencies, all countries, including those in Africa, must apply these recommendations consistently and uniformly, without imposing unnecessary border constraints such as quarantines, which deter passengers and suppress the demand for air travel.

According to ICAO, Rwanda is amongst the first countries in the world to have fully complied with ICAO’s biosecurity recommendations. Barry Kashambo, Regional Director, ESAF speaking on behalf of the ICAO Regional Offices accredited to African States ICAO said: “We recognize the efforts and actions by Rwanda and some other States, to fully implement the provisions of ICAO CART recommendations and Take-off guidance and measures. We encourage all Governments in Africa to prioritize the restart of aviation and to tap into its potential as an enabler to Africa’s economic recovery post COVID-19. Air connectivity is critical to economic and sustainable development and the movement of persons across the continent.”

2. Stepping up efforts to support the industry

Continued financial and regulatory support, particularly financial relief--that does not increase industry debt levels--through direct cash injections, credit or loans and deferrals or discounts on user charges are essential to support airlines over the restart and recovery period.  

"We are grateful to the few African governments that have provided relief to aviation so far - Rwanda, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and recently Cabo Verde. Their actions have helped save thousands of jobs and will enable some airlines to restart and support the wider economies they serve. But the situation is worsening. Continued relief measures are essential to minimize job losses and ensure that connectivity can be restored. We urge African governments and the development institutions who have committed funding to provide it urgently in a structure that does not weaken already stressed airline balance sheets, before it is too late,” said Albakri.

Country level impact

IATA Economics’ latest outlook for key national markets in Africa has worsened since the previous assessment in June. For example, passenger numbers, jobs at risk and GDP impacts for the five biggest African markets have declined across every metric:

COUNTRY JUNE PAX ESTIMATE (MILLIONS) AUGUST PAX ESTIMATE (MILLIONS) JUNE JOBS AT RISK AUGUST JOBS AT RISK APRIL GDP
(US$ BILLIONS)
AUGUST GDP
(US$ BILLIONS)
South Africa
-15.6
-16.6
269,000
287,700
-5.1
-5.8
Nigeria
-5.3
-5.7
139,500
149,400
-0.9
-1.1
Kenya
-3.8
-4.0
207,800
223,600
-1.6
-1.8
Rwanda
-0.47
-0.5
17,300
18,500
-0.06
-0.07
Ethiopia
-2.6
-2.8
530,400
564,100
-1.9
-2.1

 

Read more...

Traveler Survey Reveals COVID-19 Concerns

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released public opinion research showing the willingness to travel being tempered by concerns over the risks of catching COVID-19 during air travel. The industry’s re-start plans address passenger’s main concerns.

Concerns for Travel During COVID-19

Travelers are taking precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 with 77% saying that they are washing their hands more frequently, 71% avoiding large meetings and 67% having worn a facemask in public. Some 58% of those surveyed said that they have avoided air travel, with 33% suggesting that they will avoid travel in future as a continued measure to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19.

Travelers identified their top three concerns as follows:

At the airport
On board Aircraft
1. Being in a crowded bus/train on the way to the aircraft (59%)
1. Sitting next to someone who might be infected (65%)
2. Queuing at check-in/security/border control or boarding (42%)
2. Using restrooms/toilet facilities (42%)
3. Using airport restrooms/toilet facilities (38%)
3. Breathing the air on the plane (37%)

When asked to rank the top three measures that would make them feel safer, 37% cited COVID-19 screening at departure airports, 34% agreed with mandatory wearing of facemasks and 33% noted social distancing measures on aircraft.

Passengers themselves displayed a willingness to play a role in keeping flying safe by:

  1. Undergoing temperature checks (43%)
  2. Wearing a mask during travel (42%)
  3. Checking-in online to minimize interactions at the airport (40%)
  4. Taking a COVID-19 test prior to travel (39%)
  5. Sanitizing their seating area (38%).

“People are clearly concerned about COVID-19 when traveling. But they are also reassured by the practical measures being introduced by governments and the industry under the Take-off guidance developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These include mask-wearing, the introduction of contactless technology in travel processes and screening measures. This tells us that we are on the right track to restoring confidence in travel. But it will take time. To have maximum effect, it is critical that governments deploy these measures globally,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The survey also pointed to some key issues in restoring confidence where the industry will need to communicate the facts more effectively. Travelers’ top on board concerns include:

Cabin air quality: Travelers have not made up their minds about cabin air quality. While 57% of travelers believed that air quality is dangerous, 55% also responded that they understood that it was as clean as the air in a hospital operating theatre. The quality of air in modern aircraft is, in fact, far better than most other enclosed environments. It is exchanged with fresh air every 2-3 minutes, whereas the air in most office buildings is exchanged 2-3 times per hour. Moreover, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters capture well over 99.999% of germs, including the Coronavirus.

Social distancing: Governments advise to wear a mask (or face covering) when social distancing is not possible, as is the case with public transport. This aligns with the expert ICAO Take-off guidance. Additionally, while passengers are sitting in close proximity on board, the cabin air flow is from ceiling to floor. This limits the potential spread of viruses or germs backwards or forwards in the cabin. There are several other natural barriers to the transmission of the virus on board, including the forward orientation of passengers (limiting face-to-face interaction), seatbacks that limit transmission from row-to-row, and the limited movement of passengers in the cabin.

There is no requirement for social distancing measures on board the aircraft from highly respected aviation authorities such as the US Federal Aviation Administration, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency or ICAO.

“It is no secret that passengers have concerns about the risk of transmission onboard. They should be reassured by the many built-in anti-virus features of the air flow system and forward-facing seating arrangements. On top of this, screening before flight and facial coverings are among the extra layers of protection that are being implemented by industry and governments on the advice of ICAO and the World Health Organization. No environment is risk free, but few environments are as controlled as the aircraft cabin. And we need to make sure that travelers understand that,” said de Juniac.

No Quick Solution

While nearly half of those surveyed (45%) indicated the they would return to travel within a few months of the pandemic subsiding, this is a significant drop from the 61% recorded in the April survey. Overall, the survey results demonstrate that people have not lost their taste for travel, but there are blockers to returning to pre-crisis levels of travel:

  • A majority of travelers surveyed plan to return to travel to see family and friends (57%), to vacation (56%) or to do business (55%) as soon as possible after the pandemic subsides.
  • But, 66% said that they would travel less for leisure and business in the post-pandemic world.
  • And 64% indicated that they would postpone travel until economic factors improved (personal and broader).

“This crisis could have a very long shadow. Passengers are telling us that it will take time before they return to their old travel habits. Many airlines are not planning for demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023 or 2024. Numerous governments have responded with financial lifelines and other relief measures at the height of the crisis. As some parts of the world are starting the long road to recovery, it is critical that governments stay engaged. Continued relief measures like alleviation from use-it-or-lose it slot rules, reduced taxes or cost reduction measures will be critical for some time to come,” said de Juniac.

One of the biggest blockers to industry recovery is quarantine. Some 85% of travelers reported concern for being quarantined while traveling, a similar level of concern to those reporting general concern for catching the virus when traveling (84%). And, among the measures that travelers were willing to take in adapting to travel during or after the pandemic, only 17% reported that they were will willing to undergo quarantine.

“Quarantine is a demand killer. Keeping borders closed prolongs the pain by causing economic hardship well beyond airlines. If governments want to re-start their tourism sectors, alternative risk-based measures are needed. Many are built into the ICAO Take-off guidelines, like health screening before departure to discourage symptomatic people from traveling. Airlines are helping this effort with flexible rebooking policies. In these last days we have seen the UK and the EU announce risk-based calculations for opening their borders. And other countries have chosen testing options. Where there is a will to open up, there are ways to do it responsibly,” said de Juniac.

The Survey

The 11-country survey, which was conducted during the first week of June 2020, assessed traveler concerns during the pandemic and the potential timelines for their return to travel. This is the third wave of the survey, with previous waves conducted at the end of February and the beginning of April. All those surveyed had taken at least one flight since July 2019.

Read more...

Passenger Demand April 2020 Plunged 94.3%

Passenger demand in April (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs), plunged 94.3% compared to April 2019, as the COVID-19-related travel restrictions virtually shut down domestic and international air travel. This is a rate of decline never seen in the history of IATA’s traffic series, which dates back to 1990.

More recently, figures show that daily flight totals rose 30% between the low point on 21 April and 27 May. This is primarily in domestic operations and off of a very low base (5.7% of 2019 demand). While this uptick is not significant to the global dimension of the air transport industry, it does suggest that the industry has seen the bottom of the crisis, provided there is no recurrence. In addition, it is the very first signal of aviation beginning the likely long process of re-establishing connectivity. 

“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 CEO.

IATA calculated that by the first week of April, governments in 75% of the markets tracked by IATA completely banned entry, while an additional 19% had limited travel restrictions or compulsory quarantine requirements for international arrivals. The initial flight increases have been concentrated in domestic markets. Data from late May show that flight levels in Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam have risen to a point now just 22-28% lower than a year earlier . Searches for air travel on Google also were up 25% by the end of May compared to the April low, although that’s a rise from a very low base and still 60% lower than at the start of the year.

APRIL 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-94.3%
-87.0%
-46.6%
36.6%
Africa
2.1%
-98.3%
-88.4%
-62.8%
11.1%
Asia Pacific
34.7%
-88.5%
-82.5%
-28.2%
53.8%
Europe
26.8%
-98.1%
-94.9%
-53.2%
32.0%
Latin America
5.1%
-96.0%
-94.0%
-27.1%
55.0%
Middle East
9.0%
-97.3%
-92.4%
-52.1%
28.4%
North America
22.2%
-96.6%
-80.5%
-69.9%
15.0%

International Passenger Markets

April international passenger demand collapsed 98.4% compared to April 2019, a deterioration from the 58.1% decline recorded in March. Capacity fell 95.1%, and load factor plunged 55.3 percentage points to 27.5%.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ April traffic plummeted 98.0% compared to the year-ago period, worsened from a 70.2% drop in March. Capacity fell 94.9% and load factor shrank 49.9 percentage points to 31.3%.

European carriers’ April demand toppled 99.0%, a sharp decline from the 53.8% decline in March. Capacity dropped 97% and load factor shrank by 58 percentage points to 27.7%.

Middle Eastern airlines posted a 97.3% traffic contraction for April, compared with a 50.3% demand drop in March. Capacity collapsed 92.3%, and load factor crumbled to 27.9%, down 52.9 percentage points compared to the year ago period. 

North American carriers had a 98.3% traffic decline in April widened from a 54.7% decline in March. Capacity fell 94.4%, and load factor dropped 57.2 percentage points to 25.7%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 98.3% demand drop in April compared to the same month last year, from a 45.9% drop in March. Capacity fell 97.0% and load factor fell 34.5 percentage points to 48.1%, highest among the regions.

African airlines’ traffic sank 98.7% in April, nearly twice as bad as the 49.8% demand drop in March. Capacity contracted 87.7%, and load factor dived 65.3 percentage points to just 7.7% of seats filled, lowest among regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic traffic fell 86.9% in April, with the steepest declines registered in Australia (-96.8%), Brazil (-93.1%) and the US (-95.7%). This was a sharp deterioration compared to a 51.0% decline in March. Domestic capacity fell 72.1% and load factor dropped 44.3 percentage points to 39.5%.

MARCH 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
36.2%
-86.9%
-72.1%
-44.3%
39.5%
Dom. Australia
0.8%
-96.8%
-92.5%
-46.1%
34.6%
Dom. Brazil
1.1%
-93.1%
-91.4%
-15.9%
65.9%
Dom. China P.R.
9.8%
-66.6%
-57.2%
-18.6%
66.4%
Dom. Japan
1.1%
-88.7%
-54.6%
-51.8%
17.1%
Dom. Russian Fed.
1.5%
-82.7%
-62.4%
-43.8%
37.1%
Dom. US
14.0%
-95.7%
-72.9%
-72.3%
13.5%


China’s carriers 
posted a 66.6% year-on-year decline in traffic in April, little changed from a 68.7% decline in March but an improvement from the 85% decline in February.

Russian airlines’ domestic traffic fell 82.7% in April compared to April 2019. The slower shrinkage compared to the other markets is attributable to the later timing of the outbreaks in the country.

The Bottom Line

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. It is vital that the aviation industry is ready with bio-safety measures that passengers and air transport workers have confidence in. That’s why the speedy implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) global guidelines for safely re-starting aviation is the top priority,” said de Juniac.

The ICAO Council’s “Takeoff: Guidance for Air Travel through the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis” is the authoritative and comprehensive framework of risk-based temporary measures for air transport operations during the COVID-19 crisis. These were developed through broad-based consultations with governments, the World Health Organization, and with key advice from aviation industry groups including IATA, Airports Council International (ACI World), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA).

“We fully support its recommendations and look forward to working with governments for a well-coordinated implementation. The world cannot afford to delay,” said de Juniac.

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Passenger Demand Plunges on COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Global passenger traffic data for February 2020 showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) fell 14.1% compared to February 2019.

This was the steepest decline in traffic since 9.11 and reflected collapsing domestic travel in China and sharply falling international demand to/from and within the Asia-Pacific region, owing to the spreading COVID-19 virus and government-imposed travel restrictions. February capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) fell 8.7% as airlines scrambled to trim capacity in line with plunging traffic, and load factor fell 4.8 percentage points to 75.9%.

“Airlines were hit by a sledgehammer called COVID-19 in February. Borders were closed in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. And the impact on aviation has left airlines with little to do except cut costs and take emergency measures in an attempt to survive in these extraordinary circumstances. The 14.1% global fall in demand is severe, but for carriers in Asia-Pacific the drop was 41%. And it has only grown worse. Without a doubt this is the biggest crisis that the industry has ever faced,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

FEBRUARY 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE RPK ASPK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-14.1%
-8.7%
-4.8%
75.9%
Africa
2.1%
-0.7%
5.1
-3.9%
66.8%
Asia Pacific
34.7%
-41.3%
-28.2%
-15.1%
67.8%
Europe
26.8%
0.7%
1.2%
-0.5%
81.3%
Latin America
5.1%
3.1%
3.5%
-0.3%
81.2%
Middle East
9.0%
1.7%
1.5%
0.1%
72.5%
North America
22.2%
5.5%
4.7%
0.6%
81.1%

1-% of Industry RPKs in 2019 2-Year-on-year chnage in load factor 3-Load factor level

International Passenger Markets

February international passenger demand fell 10.1% compared to February 2019, the worst outcome since the 2003 SARS outbreak and a reversal from the 2.6% traffic increase recorded in January. Europe and Middle East were the only regions to see a year-over-year traffic rise. Capacity fell 5.0%, and load factor plunged 4.2 percentage points to 75.3%.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ February traffic plummeted 30.4% compared to the year-ago period, steeply reversing a 3.0% gain recorded in January. Capacity fell 16.9% and load factor collapsed to 67.9%, a 13.2-percentage point drop compared to February 2019.

European carriers’ February demand was virtually flat compared to a year ago (+0.2%), the region’s weakest performance in a decade. The slowdown was driven by routes to/from Asia, where the growth rate slowed by 25 percentage points in February, versus January. Demand  in markets within Europe performed solidly despite some initial flight suspensions on the routes to/from Italy. However, March data will reflect the impact of the spread of the virus across Europe and the related disruptions to travel. February capacity rose 0.7%, and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage point to 82.0%, which was the highest among regions.

Middle Eastern airlines posted a 1.6% traffic increase in February, a slowdown from the 5.3% year-over-year growth reported in January largely owing to a slowdown on Middle East-Asia-Pacific routes. Capacity increased by 1.3%, and load factor edged up 0.2 percentage point to 72.6%. 

North American carriers had a 2.8% traffic decline in February, reversing a 2.9% gain in January, as international entry restrictions hit home and volumes on Asia-North America routes plunged 30%. Capacity fell 1.5%, and load factor dropped 1.0 percentage point to 77.7%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 0.4% demand drop in February compared to the same month last year. This actually was an improvement over the 3.5% decline recorded in January. However, the spread of the virus and resulting travel restrictions will be reflected in March results. Capacity also fell 0.4% and load factor was flat compared to February 2019 at 81.3%.

African airlines’ traffic slipped 1.1% in February, versus a 5.6% traffic increase recorded in January and the weakest outcome since 2015. The decline was driven by around a 35% year-on-year traffic fall in the Africa-Asia market. Capacity rose 4.8%, however, and load factor sagged 3.9 percentage points to 65.7%, lowest among regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Demand for domestic travel dropped 20.9% in February compared to February 2019, as Chinese domestic market collapsed in the face of the government lockdown. Domestic capacity fell 15.1% and load factor dropped 5.6 percentage points to 77.0%.

FEBRUARY 2020 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)​2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Domestic
36.2%
-20.9%
-15.1%
-5.6%
77.0%
Dom. Australia
0.8%
-4.0%
-1.2%
-2.2%
75.6%
Domestic Brazil
1.1%
3.8%
4.3%
-0.4%
82.0%
Dom. China P. R.
9.5%
-83.6%
-70.4%
-39.3%
48.5%
Domestic India
1.6%
8.4%
9.9%
-1.2%
88.1%
Domestic Japan
1.1%
-2.8%
3.9%
-4.7%
67.1%
Dom. Russia. Fed.
1.5%
7.7%
9.1%
-1.0%
75.7%
Domestic US
14.0%
10.1%
8.3%
1.3%
82.9%

1-% of Industry RPKs in 2019 2-Year-on-year chnage in load factor 3-Load factor level

Chinese airlines’ domestic traffic fell 83.6% in February, the worst outcome since IATA began tracking the market in 2000. With the easing of some restrictions on internal travel in March, domestic demand is showing some tentative signs of improvement.

US airlines enjoyed one of their strongest months in February, as domestic traffic jumped 10.1%. Demand fell  toward the end of the month, however, with the full impact of COVID-19 expected to show in March results.

The Bottom Line

“This is aviation’s darkest hour and it is difficult to see a sunrise ahead unless governments do more to support the industry through this unprecedented global crisis. We are grateful to those that have stepped up with relief measures, but many more need to do so. Our most recent analysis shows that airlines may burn through $61 billion of their cash reserves during the second quarter ending 30 June 2020. This includes $35 billion in sold-but-unused tickets as a result of massive flight cancellations owing to government-imposed travel restrictions. We welcome the actions of those regulators who have relaxed rules so as to permit airlines to issue travel vouchers in lieu of refunds for unused tickets; and we urge others to do the same. Air transport will play a much-needed role in supporting the inevitable recovery. But without additional government action today, the industry will not be in a position to help when skies are brighter tomorrow,” said de Juniac.

 

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Middle East And Africa Airlines Revenue Losses Mount

Governments in Africa and the Middle East need to provide financial relief to airlines as the latest IATA scenario for potential revenue loss by carriers in Africa and the Middle East reached US$23 billion (US$19 billion in the Middle East and US$4 billion in Africa).  This translates into a drop of industry revenues of 32% for Africa and 39% for the Middle East for 2020 as compared to 2019.

Some of the impacts at national level include:

Saudi Arabia

  • 26.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$5.61billion revenue loss, risking 217,570 jobs and US$13.6 billion in contribution to Saudi Arabia’s economy

UAE

  • 23.8 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$5.36 billion revenue loss, risking 287,863 jobs and US$17.7 billion in contribution to the UAE’s economy

Egypt

  • 9.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$1.6 billion revenue loss, risking almost 205,560 jobs and around US$2.4 billion in contribution to the Egyptian economy

Qatar

  • 3.6 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$1.32 billion revenue loss, risking 53,640 jobs and US$2.1billion in contribution to Qatar’s economy

Jordan

  • 2.8 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.5 billion revenue loss, risking 26,400 jobs and US$0.8 billion in contribution to Jordan’s economy

South Africa

  • 10.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$2.29 billion revenue loss, risking 186,850 jobs and US$3.8 billion in contribution to South Africa’s economy

Nigeria

  • 3.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$ 0.76 billion revenue loss, risking 91,380 jobs and US$0.65 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy

Ethiopia

  • 1.6 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.3billion revenue loss, risking 327,062 jobs and US$1.2 billion in contribution to Ethiopia’s economy

Kenya

  • 2.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$ 0.54 billion revenue loss, risking 137,965 jobs and US$1.1 billion in contribution to Kenya’s economy

To minimize the broad damage that these losses would have across the African and Middle East economies, it is vital that governments step up their efforts to aid the industry. Many governments in the region have committed to provide relief from the effect of COVID-19. And some have already taken direct action to support aviation including the United Arab Emirates. But more help is needed. IATA is calling for a mixture of:

  • direct financial support
  • loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market
  • tax relief

We are also starting to see several governments in the region providing some financial and tax reliefs, including deferral of aircraft lease payments by the government of Cabo Verde, extension of VAT refund payment dates in Saudi Arabia and positive considerations for financial relief from governments across the region including Jordan, Rwanda, Angola and the UAE.

“The air transport industry is an economic engine, supporting up to 8.6 million jobs across Africa and the Middle East and $186 billion in GDP. Every job created in the aviation industry supports another 24 jobs in the wider economy. Governments must recognize the vital importance of the air transport industry, and that support is urgently needed. Airlines are fighting for survival in every corner of the world. Travel restrictions and evaporating demand mean that, aside from cargo, there is almost no passenger business. Failure by Governments to act now will make this crisis longer and more painful. Airlines have demonstrated their value in economic and social development in Africa and the Middle East and governments need to prioritize them in rescue packages. Healthy airlines will be essential to jump-start the Middle East and global economies post-crisis,” said Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to financial support, IATA called for regulators to support the industry. Key priorities in Africa and the Middle East include:

  • Providing a package of measures to ensure air cargo operations, including fast track procedures to obtain overflight and landing permits, exempting flight crew members from 14-day quarantine, and removing economic impediments (overflight charges, parking fees, and slot restrictions).
  • Providing financial relief on Airport and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Charges and Taxes
  • Ensuring aeronautical information is published, timely, accurately, and without ambiguity, ensuring the airlines can plan and execute their flights

“Some regulators are taking positive action. We are grateful to the Ghana, Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Arabic and South Africa for agreeing a full-season waiver to the slot use rule. This will enable airlines and airports greater flexibility for this season and greater certainty for summer.  But there is more to do on the regulatory front. Governments need to recognize that we are in a crisis,” said Al Bakri.

Latest impact estimates, selected Africa, Middle East countries

NATION REVENUE IMPACT (US$, BILLIONS)

PASSENGER DEMAND IMPACT

( MILLIONS)

PASSENGER DEMAND IMPACT POTENTIAL JOBS IMPACT POTENTIAL GDP IMPACT (US$, BILLIONS)
Bahrain
-0.41
-2.1
-43%
-9,586
-0.38
Oman
-0.57
-3.3
-37%
-39,452
-1.3
Qatar
-1.32
-3.6
-37%
-53,640
-2.1
Saudi Arabia
-5.61
-26.7
-39%
-217,570
-13.6
UAE
-5.36
-23.8
-40%
-287,863
-17.7
Lebanon
-0.73
-3.56
-43%
-97,044
-2.5
Egypt
-1.66
-9.5
-35%
-205,560
-2.4
Jordan
-0.5
-2.8
-38%
-26,400
-0.8
Morocco
-1.30
-8.1
-38%
-372,081
-3.4
South Africa
-2.29
-10.7
-41%
-186,805
-3.8
Kenya
-0.54
-2.5
-36%
-137,965
-1.1
Ethiopia
-0.30
-1.6
-30%
-327,062
-1.2
Nigeria
-0.76
-3.5
-37%
-91,380
-0.65

 

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Asia-Pacific States Urgently Need To Support Their Airline Industry

IATA is urging Asia-Pacific states to take urgent action to provide financial support to their airline industry impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Major Asia-Pacific states could see passenger demand in 2020 reduced by between 34% to 44%. This is based on a scenario where severe restrictions on travel are lifted after 3 months, followed by gradual recovery. Cambodia (-34%), Vietnam (-34%) and the Philippines (-36%) will be on the lower end of the range, while Thailand (-40%), Pakistan (-40%), Republic of Korea (-40%) and Sri Lanka (-44%) will see the largest impact.

“Based on a scenario in which severe travel restrictions last for three months, the Asia-Pacific region as a whole will see passenger demand reduced by 37% this year, with a revenue loss of US$88 billion. While each country will see varying impact on passenger demand, the net result is the same – their airlines are fighting for survival, they are facing a liquidity crisis, and they will need financial relief urgently to sustain their businesses through this volatile situation,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific.

In its latest analysis, IATA expects airlines to post a net loss of US$39 billion during the second quarter ending 30 June 2020. The impact of that on cash burn will be amplified by a US$35 billion liability for potential ticket refunds. Without relief, the industry’s cash position could deteriorate by US$61 billion in the second quarter

Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have announced a substantial package of measures to support their aviation industry. “But others in the region, including India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand, have yet to take decisive and effective action. Jobs as well as the GDP supported by the industry are at risk,” said Clifford. Details of the country impact can be found in the table below.

“Governments need to ensure that airlines have sufficient cash flow to tide them over this period, by providing direct financial support, facilitating loans, loan guarantees, and support for the corporate bond market. Taxes, levies, and airport and aeronautical charges for the industry should also be fully or partially waived. It is critical that these countries still have a viable aviation sector to support the economic recovery, connect manufacturing hubs and support tourism when the COVID-19 crisis is over. They need to act now – and urgently - before it is too late,” said Clifford.

Country Impact

NATION

PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN PASSENGER DEMAND (2020 VS 2019)

PASSENGER DEMAND IMPACT (ORIGIN-DESTINATION VOLUMES - 2020 VS 2019)

REVENUE IMPACT (US$, MILLIONS - 2020 VS 2019) POTENTIAL JOBS IMPACT (2020 VS 2019) POTENTIAL GDP IMPACT (US$, MILLIONS - 2020 VS 2019)
Australia
-39%
-38,366,000
-11,146
-278,200
-27,012
Bangladesh
-37%
-4,218,000
-842
-47,200
N/A
Bhutan
-32%
-167,800
-19
N/A
N/A
Brunei
-38%
-459,500
-89
-6,400
-352
Cambodia
-34%
-4,072,000
-677
-581,700
-1,595
Fiji
-39%
-877,400
-238
-49,300
-854
French Polynesia
-41%
-580,300
-244
N/A
N/A
India
-36%
-68,555,000
-8,838
-2,247,000
-12,709
Indonesia
-37%
-45,354,000
-6,433
-1,570,000
-8,999
Japan
-38%
-71,575,000
-17,765
-448,600
-34,962
Laos
-39%
-1,226,000
-171
-18,000
N/A
Malaysia
-39%
-25,493,000
-3,317
-169,700
-3,799
Maldives
-40%
-2,124,000
-507
-28,800
-1,236
Myanmar
-36%
-3,313,000
-540
-185,600
-685
Nepal
-39%
-2,607,000
-409
-175,100
N/A
New Caledonia
-41%
-386,700
-125
N/A
N/A
New Zealand
-38%
-9,769,000
-2,650
-128,300
-8,141
Pakistan
-40%
-7,540,000
-1,438
-198,200
N/A
Papua New Guinea
-42%
-961,700
-201
-17,300
N/A
Philippines
-36%
-21,878,000
-3,507
-419,800
-3,747
Solomon Islands
-39%
-104,200
-30
-11,500
-59
Republic of Korea
-40%
-45,142,000
-8,432
-287,700
-16,402
Sri Lanka
-44%
-3,105,000
-562
-313,000
-3,507
Thailand
-40%
-42,470,000
-6,516
-1,663,300
-25,118
Vanatatu
-35%
-205,600
-35
-3,700
-50
Vietnam
-34%
-24,171,000
-3,404
-749,700
-4,282

 

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25 Million Jobs At Risk With Airline Shutdown

New analysis from IATA showing that some 25 million jobs are at risk of disappearing with plummeting demand for air travel amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Globally, the livelihoods of some 65.5 million people are dependent on the aviation industry, including sectors such as travel and tourism. Among these are 2.7 million airlines jobs. In a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, IATA research calculates that 25 million jobs in aviation and related sectors are endangered across the world:

  • 11.2 million jobs in Asia-Pacific
  • 5.6 million jobs in Europe
  • 2.9 million jobs in Latin America
  • 2.0 million jobs in North America
  • 2.0 million jobs in Africa
  • 0.9 million jobs in the Middle East

In the same scenario, airlines are expected to see full year passenger revenues fall by $252 billion (-44%) in 2020 compared to 2019. The second quarter is the most critical with demand falling 70% at its worst point, and airlines burning through $61 billion in cash.

Airlines are calling on governments to provide immediate financial aid to help airlines to remain viable businesses able to lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. Specifically, IATA calls for:

  • Direct financial support
  • Loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market
  • Tax relief

“There are no words to adequately describe the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the airline industry. And the economic pain will be shared by 25 million people who work in jobs dependent upon airlines. Airlines must be viable businesses so that they can lead the recovery when the pandemic is contained. A lifeline to the airlines now is critical,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Looking Ahead: Re-booting the Industry

Alongside vital financial relief, the industry will also need careful planning and coordination to ensure that airlines are ready when the pandemic is contained.

“We have never shuttered the industry on this scale before. Consequently, we have no experience in starting it up. It will be complicated. At the practical level, we will need contingencies for licenses and certifications that have expired. We will have to adapt operations and processes to avoid reinfections via imported cases. And we must find a predictable and efficient approach to managing travel restrictions which need to be lifted before we can get back to work. These are just some of the major tasks that are ahead of us. And to be successful, industry and government must be aligned and working together,” said de Juniac.

IATA is scoping a comprehensive approach to re-booting the industry when governments and public health authorities allow. A multi-stakeholder approach will be essential. One initial step is a series of virtual meetings—or summits—on a regional basis, bringing together governments and industry stakeholders. The main objectives will be:

  • Understanding what is needed to re-open closed borders, and
  • Agreeing solutions that can be operationalized and scaled efficiently

“We are not expecting to re-start the same industry that we closed a few weeks ago. Airlines will still connect the world. And we will do that through a variety of business models. But the industry processes will need to adapt. We must get on with this work quickly. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes made after 9.11 when many new processes were imposed in an uncoordinated way. We ended up with a mess of measures that we are still sorting out today. The 25 million people whose jobs are at risk by this crisis will depend on an efficient re-start of the industry,” said de Juniac.

 

Read the Wider economic impact from air transport collapse report (pdf), presentation by Brian Pearce, IATA's Chief Economist

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