According to IATA, global air traffic, which is calculated in kilometers traveled by passengers, collapsed by 74.7 percent compared to February of 2019, since the comparison with February of 2020 was useless as the repercussions of the pandemic were at the beginning. .
The numbers indicate a worsening decline compared to January, when global air traffic recorded a decline of 72.2 percent, according to IATA, whose number of companies affiliated to it reached 290 companies, representing 82 percent of global air traffic, throughout the year. 2020 decline was 66 percent.
Because of the restrictions imposed on movement, demand for international flights decreased, and the rate of decline reached 88.7 percent in February, compared to 85.7 percent in the previous month. The new general manager of IATA, Willie Walsh, said that the current conditions do not bear any sign of recovery.
As for the demand for domestic flights, it was less affected, and the percentage of decline in February was only 51 percent compared to the same period in 2019, noting that this percentage shows an additional deterioration compared to a decline of 47.8 percent in January of this year.
In a videoconference, Walsh, the former executive director of British Airways, who succeeded in the French IATA, Alexander Juniac, said: “It is clear that the situation in the sector at the level of passengers is extremely difficult.”
He continued, “It is the most difficult crisis facing the sector, and I say this about more than 40 years of experience in the sector.”
Airlines lost $ 510 billion of their turnover last year, and IATA had estimated on February 24 that air traffic would be limited in 2021 to between 33 percent and 38 percent of what it was in 2019.
But Walsh stressed that the progress of vaccination campaigns is encouraging, saying that it is necessary to “remain optimistic for the summer season” in Europe.
IATA indicated that the decline in passenger turnout has stopped in North America, noting that it remains 56.1 percent lower compared to February 2019, which represent a recovery due to the “decline in infection rates and the acceleration of vaccination campaigns.”