Based on flight data, the recovery in air passenger services was brought to a halt in mid-August by a return of government restrictions in the face of new COVID-19 outbreaks in a number of key markets. "Forward bookings for air travel in the fourth quarter show that the recovery since the April low point will continue to falter," said IATA in a statement.
Whereas the decline in year-on-year growth of global revenue passenger kilometres was expected to have moderated to minus 55 per cent by December, a much slower improvement is now expected with the month of December forecast to be down 68 per cent on a year ago.
Asia Pacific airlines' August traffic sank 95.9 per cent compared to the year-ago period, barely budged from a 96.2 per cent drop in July, and the steepest contraction among regions. Capacity dived 90.4 per cent and load factor shrank 48 percentage points to 34.8 per cent.
"August's disastrous traffic performance puts a cap on the industry's worst-ever summer season. International demand recovery is virtually non-existent and domestic markets in Australia and Japan actually regressed in the face of new outbreaks and travel restrictions," said IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
"A few months ago, we thought that a full-year fall in demand of minus 63 per cent compared to 2019 was as bad as it could get. With the dismal peak summer travel period behind us, we have revised our expectations downward to minus 66 per cent," he said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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