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New data shows the rapid impact of COVID-19 on aviation

ACI World’s latest data has shown the rapid effect the COVID-19 crisis has had on the aviation industry and it’s now calling on governments to ensure solutions to this are fair and reasonable.

New data shows the rapid impact of Covid-19 on aviation

Airports Council International (ACI) World has published its monthly global traffic data for January, and they show that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak had a rapid effect on passenger traffic, particularly in Asia-Pacific.

“These figures show that the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on aviation was rapid, especially in the Asia-Pacific region,” ACI World Director General, Angela Gittens said.

“The aviation industry is facing unprecedented upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation calls for an exceptional policy response to ensure the continuity and sustainability of airport operations.”

Global passenger traffic grew by just over 1.9 per cent in January 2020, down from 4.9 per cent a month prior. The industry’s 12-month rolling average reached an increase of 2.9 per cent, temporarily propped up by the middling growth observed in 2019.

The Asia-Pacific region was already showing the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in January, declining by 1.8 per cent due to a significant shift in domestic traffic (3.6 per cent).

The data results for the freight industry showed a decline by 4.4 per cent for the month as compared to January 2019. Preliminary figures for 2019 show a decline of 2.5 per cent for the year. ACI said it can expect that the disruptions in supply chains and the shock to the global economy precipitated by the reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, will cause an even greater decline. The market’s 12-month rolling average stood at three per cent decline in January, with an unprecedented and difficult period ahead, it said.

“Airport operators are prioritising the health of passengers and staff first and foremost and, while it is hoped that the global health crisis will recede well before the year ends, it is possible that the economic impact could persist into 2021,” Gittens continued. “The financial cost to the global industry in 2020 is rapidly growing. This is a fast-moving and ever-changing crisis and governments must act decisively and quickly.

“ACI World urges the aviation industry and governments to come together to ensure the impact is borne equitably and solutions are fair and reasonable so as to provide the greatest impetus for a swift and balanced recovery.”

ACI collects and analyses data from a significant sample of airports that provide regular reports on month-by-month passenger and air freight statistics.

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