Limited recovery this May not enough to catch pre-virus levels, says Airports Council International
Demand for both international and domestic air travel showed marginal recovery this May compared to the previous month, though traffic remained well below pre-pandemic levels, a leading trade group said on Wednesday.
“Recovery in international traffic in particular continued to be stymied by extensive government travel restrictions,” the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement
Demand for air travel, measured in kilometers traveled by paying passengers, increased 2.4% month-on-month in May and fell by 62.7% compared to May 2019.
That was a gain over the 65.2% decline recorded in April 2021 versus April 2019.
The IATA made all comparisons to two years ago, as figures in 2020 are distorted by the coronavirus pandemic.
International passenger demand slipped by 85.1% during the same period, with all regions except the Asia-Pacific contributing to this modest improvement.
“We are starting to see positive developments, with some international markets opening to vaccinated travelers,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.
Domestic travel continued to strengthen in May but declined by 23.9% compared to the pre-crisis period.
Among the key domestic markets, China and Russia recovered above pre-crisis levels, it highlighted, adding that India and Japan saw significant deterioration amid new variants and outbreaks.