With coronavirus still taking a bit bite out of travel worldwide, global air passenger demand remained highly depressed in September, according to a leading trade group.
Demand fell 72.8% from September 2019, but improved slightly over a 75.2% year-to-year decline in the previous month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement late Wednesday.
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic combined with governments’ reliance on the “blunt instrument of quarantine” halted momentum toward reopening borders to travel, stressed Alexandre de Juniac, the group’s CEO.
International passenger demand fell 88.8% year-on-year in September, virtually unchanged from an 88.5% decline in August.
Domestic demand in the month was down 43.3% compared to last year, up from a 50.7% decrease in the previous month, owing to improvements in China and Russia.
“Domestic traffic represents just a bit more than a third of total traffic, so it is not enough to sustain a general recovery,” Juniac noted.
The group added that the global air freight market narrowed 8% on an annual basis this September but bounced back from a 12.1% year-on-year drop in August.
Month-on-month air cargo demand grew 3.7% in September, the IATA stressed.
Global capacity, measured in available cargo ton-kilometers (ACTKs), shrank 25.2% in September (‑28% for international operations) compared to same period last year.