A moderate recovery was observed in air travel during September 2021, compared to August figures, according to the latest report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to the report, international traffic in September 2021 recorded a 56.9 percent decrease in European carriers, compared to the September 2019 figures, a 1 percent decrease compared to a 55.9 percent decrease in August, compared to the August 2019 figures. At the same time, capacity decreased by 46.3 percent in cent, according to a report by TheSchengen.com.
International passenger demand in September was 69.2 percent lower than figures for the same period in 2019, or worse than the 68.7 percent drop recorded during August.
“September’s performance is a positive development, but the recovery in international traffic remains stalled amid continued border closures and quarantine mandates. Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association, noted, in this regard, that the recent change in US policy to reopen Travel from 33 markets for fully vaccinated foreigners as of November 8 is welcome, if it is long overdue.
He stressed that along with easing travel restrictions in other important markets such as Argentina, Australia, Thailand and Singapore, this should also promote the restoration of freedom of travel.
Besides Europe, international passenger demand has been recorded in other major markets as follows:
Asia Pacific airlines – a total decrease of 93.2 percent in international traffic was recorded, in September of this year, compared to the figures for the same period in 2019. At the same time, capacity decreased by 85.2 percent. Middle East airlines – an overall decrease of 67.1 percent in September 2021, compared to the 2019 figures, a slight increase compared to the 68.9 decreases recorded in August, compared to the same month in the 2019 figures. In addition, capacity decreased to 52.2 percent. North American airlines experienced a 61.0 percent drop in traffic during September of this year, compared to 2019 figures, a slight improvement compared to a 59.3 percent drop in August 2021, compared to August 2019 numbers. At the same time, capacity is down 47.6%. Latin American airlines saw a 61.3 percent decline during September, compared to the same month’s 2019 figures, an increase compared to a 62.6 percent decrease in August, compared to August 2019 numbers.
“September capacity fell 55.6 percent, and load factor fell 10.7 percentage points to 72.0 percent, the highest load factor among regions for the 12th consecutive month,” the statement read.
African airlines recorded an overall decline of 62.2 percent in September compared to 2019 figures, which is nearly 4 percent worse compared to a 58.5 percent decline in August, compared to August 2019 figures. At the same time, September capacity fell to 49.3 percent.
The International Air Transport Association has previously called on governments to end COVID-19 travel restrictions and other measures imposed to stop the virus from spreading further.