Passenger demand remains drastically low in September 2020
As a result of a second wave of COVID-19 spreading across the globe, passenger demand remains over 70 per cent lower than 2019 levels.
Airports and airlines are both feeling the impacts of diminishing air travel demand
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published new data outlining that passenger demand in September 2020 remained highly depressed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global travel and border restrictions.
Total demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometres, or RPKs) was 72.8 per cent below September 2019 levels, which is only slightly improved over the 75.2 per cent year-to-year decline that was recorded in August 2020. Capacity was down by 63 per cent when compared to a year ago, and load factor fell 21.8 percentage points to 60.1 per cent.
International passenger demand in September 2020 plunged by 88.8 per cent when compared to September 2019, basically unchanged from the 88.5 per cent decline recorded in August 2020. Capacity plummeted by 78.9 per cent, and load factor withered by 38.2 percentage points to 43.5 per cent.
Domestic demand in September 2020 was down by 43.3 per cent when compared to the previous year, improved from a 50.7 per cent decline in August 2020. Compared to 2019, capacity fell by 33.3 per cent and the load factor dropped by 12.4 percentage points to 69.9 per cent.
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “We have hit a wall in the industry’s recovery. A resurgence in COVID-19 outbreaks – particularly in Europe and the U.S. – combined with governments’ reliance on the blunt instrument of quarantine in the absence of globally aligned testing regimes, has halted momentum toward re-opening borders to travel. Although domestic markets are doing better, this is primarily owing to improvements in China and Russia. However, domestic traffic represents just a bit more than a third of total traffic, so it is not enough to sustain a general recovery.”