June 18, 2024

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Global demand for air travel down 62.7% in May: IATA


Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that total demand for air travel measured in revenue passenger kilometres or (RPKs) dropped by 62.7% in May compared with the same month in 2019.

Total international passenger demand during the month was 85.1% below May 2019.

The association said that both international and domestic travel demand showed small improvements against April.

The improvement is a result of the increasing relaxation in travel restrictions.

Domestic demand fell by 23.9% against May 2019 but showed a slight gain over April.

India’s domestic traffic fell 71.0% in May while Brazil’s domestic traffic recovered to a 44% decline.

IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “We are starting to see positive developments, with some international markets opening to vaccinated travellers. The Northern Hemisphere summer travel season is now fully arrived.

“And it is disappointing that more governments are not moving more rapidly to use data to drive border opening strategies that would help revive tourism jobs and reunite families.”

Global air cargo demand, which is measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), was high at 9.4% during the month compared with May 2019.

Seasonally adjusted demand increased by 0.4% month-on-month in May.

Walsh added: “As economies unlock, we can expect a shift in consumption from goods to services. This could slow growth for cargo in general, but improved competitiveness compared to sea shipping should continue to make air cargo a bright spot for airlines while passenger demand struggles with continued border closures and travel restrictions.”