Global air passenger traffic was down by 72.8 percent in September year-on-year, according to the International Air Transport Association(IATA). However, it reflected a slight improvement when compared to the 75.2 percent recorded in August.
IATA further announced that capacity was down 63 percent compared to a year ago and load factor fell 21.8 percentage points to 60.1 percentage points. During the same period, international passenger demand also dropped by 88.8 percent when compared to the previous year.
IATA director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac told the media, “We have hit a wall in the industry’s recovery. A resurgence in Covid-19 outbreaks particularly in Europe and the US, 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. And domestic traffic represents just a bit more than a third of total traffic, so it is not enough to sustain a general recovery.”
In a previous report, IATA warned that the airline industry will burn through $77 billion in cash during the second half of 2020. This is equivalent to almost $13 billion per month or $300,000 per minute. Even though carriers worldwide have resumed operations following severe lockdowns, it will take years for the industry to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels. The airline industry was heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.