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IATA: Travel Restrictions Are a Threat for Industry’s Recovery

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that travel bans imposed by governments will leave the recovery of travel and tourism lagging.

Furthermore, the association published data on the recovery of air travel as of October 2021, revealing that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted demand for air travel, reports.

According to the report, the total demand for air travel in October decreased by 49.4 percent compared to the corresponding time in 2019. The demand for air travel is measured in passenger kilometers or RPK, where the revenue of a passenger kilometer means that one passenger is carried one kilometer. This rate recovered by 53.3 percent from the decline recorded in September 2021, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

In addition, the report also reveals that local markets globally declined by 21.6 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2019, improving the decline of 24.2 percent recorded in the period from September 2021 to 2019.

Moreover, the demand for international passengers in October was 65.5 percent lower than in October 2019, compared to a decrease of 69.0 percent for September compared to the 2019 period, with all regions improving.

According to Willie Walsh, president of IATA, the results for October confirm that people will travel when they are allowed to.

“Unfortunately, government responses to the emergence of the Omicron variant have jeopardized global connectivity that has taken so long to rebuild,” he said.

Furthermore, October 2021 data shows that Europe accounted for 23.7 percent of the RPK industry in 2020, with RPK down 45.3 percent, as well as available mileage (ASK) levels dropping to 36.6 percent.

Moreover, the change in load factor from October 2021 to 2019 decreased by 11.8%. Overall, Europe has a load factor level of 74.9 percent, standing only behind Latin America, which has a load factor level of 80.9 percent compared to 2019.

In addition, the international traffic of European carriers in October 2021 decreased by 50.6 percent compared to the corresponding time in 2019. It improved on the decline by 56.6 percent in September compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 41.3 percent, and load factor decreased 13.7 percentage points. to 72.5 per cent.

While African territories recovered 55.8 percent throughout October 2021, the Asia-Pacific region recovered 62.9 percent. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has reached 57.7 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while the load factor level in North America has increased by 76.9 percent.

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