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IATA: Air Passenger Demand Plunges in July

Photo Source: IATA

Air passenger demand in July (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) continued at critically low levels – 79.8 percent below July 2019 levels, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced on Tuesday.

This was somewhat better than the 86.6 percent year-over-year decline recorded in June, primarily driven by domestic markets, most notably Russia and China.

Market reopening in the Schengen Area helped to boost international demand in Europe, but other international markets showed little change from June, the Association said.

Capacity was 70.1 percent below 2019 levels and load factor sagged to a record low for July, at 57.9 percent.

“With essentially four in five air travelers staying home, the industry remains largely paralyzed. Governments reopening and then closing borders or removing and then re-imposing quarantines does not give many consumers confidence to make travel plans, nor airlines to rebuild schedules,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

International Passenger Markets

Source: IATA

July international passenger demand collapsed 91.9 percent compared to July 2019, a slight improvement over the 96.8 percent decline recorded in June.

Capacity plummeted by 85.2 percent and load factor sank 38.9 percentage points to 46.4 percent.

European carriers’ July demand toppled 87.1 percent compared to last year, improved from a 96.7 percent drop in June, year-over-year, reflecting relaxation of travel restrictions in the Schengen Area. Capacity dropped 79.2 percent and load factor fell by 33.8 percentage points to 55.1 percent.

Asia-Pacific airlines’ July traffic dived 96.5 percent compared to the year-ago period, virtually unchanged from a 97.1 percent drop in June, and the steepest contraction among regions. Capacity fell 91.7 percent and load factor shrank 47.3 percentage points to 35.3 percent.

Middle Eastern airlines posted a 93.3 percent traffic decline for July, compared with a 96.1 percent demand drop in June. Capacity tumbled 85.6 percent, and load factor sank 43.4 percentage points to 38.0 percent.

North American carriers saw a 94.5 percent traffic decline in July, a slight uptick from a 97.1 percent decline in June. Capacity fell 86.1 percent, and load factor dropped 53.0 percentage points to 35 percent, second lowest among regions.

Latin American airlines experienced a 95 percent demand drop in July, compared to the same month last year, versus a 96.6 percent drop in June. Capacity fell 92.6 percent and load factor sank 27.1 percentage points to 58.4 percent, highest among the regions.

African airlines’ traffic dropped 94.6 percent in July, somewhat improved from a 97.8 percent contraction in June. Capacity contracted 84.6 percent, and load factor fell 47.1 percentage points to 25.4 percent, which was the lowest among regions.

Domestic traffic

Source: IATA

Meanwhile, domestic traffic fell 57.5 percent in July. This was an improvement compared to a 68 percent decline in June. Domestic capacity fell 42.2 percent and load factor dropped 22.9 percentage points to 63.3 percent.

China’s carriers’ traffic was down 28.4 percent compared to July 2019, while Russian airlines’ domestic traffic dropped 17.7 percent in July, dramatically improved compared with 58 percent decline in June.

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