Global airlines reduced their 2020 traffic forecast on Tuesday, after a small summer rebound evaporated amid renewed coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions.
Full-year passenger traffic is set to decline 66 percent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, compared with a previously forecast 63 percent decline.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
“The improvement that we saw in the summer months has more or less stopped,” IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said. August traffic was down 75.3 percent in terms that reflect passenger numbers as well as distance flown, compared with a 79.5 percent drop in July.
Airlines are pressing governments to abandon quarantines and other travel curbs blamed for worsening the slump, and instead roll-out rapid COVID-19 testing at airports.
Load factors that measure the proportion of aircraft seats filled fell 27.2 points to a record low of 58.5 percent in August.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
“The industry is restarting but it looks as though it’s still burning through cash,” Pearce said. Losses will continue to mount throughout 2020, with bookings data pointing to a weak fourth quarter.
August’s short-lived improvement was driven by domestic routes, down more most 50 percent year-on-year, while international traffic was 88 percent lower.
A rebound in Russia’s domestic market, up 3 percent on last year, contrasts with Australian flights still down 88 percent and Chinese internal traffic still 19 percent lower year-on-year, IATA said.
Cargo demand was down 12.6 percent in August, an improvement on July’s 14.4 percent decline, it also said. The grounding of passenger jets has reduced capacity, supporting prices.
- Global air traffic won’t return to pre-coronavirus crisis level before 2024: IATA
- Coronavirus: US airlines burn $10 billion a month as traffic plummets
- Coronavirus: Air France-KLM says traffic could recover to 70 pct by year-end
- Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Fund, banks sign deal for up to $43 bln of projects
- Coronavirus: Indonesia gives free Bali staycations to test tourism readiness
- UN tourism body UNWTO opens regional Middle East office in Riyadh
- Coronavirus cost global tourism $460 bln in January-June this year, says UN