IATA: Air travel improves marginally in June 2021

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

KUALA LUMPUR – Passenger demand performance for June 2021 showed a slight improvement in both international and domestic air travel markets, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

However, the demand remained significantly below the pre-COVID-19 levels owing to international travel restrictions, it said.

“Total demand for air travel in June 2021, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), was down 60.1 per cent as compared to June 2019. This was a small improvement over the 62.9 per cent decline recorded in May 2021 versus May 2019,” it said in a statement today.

IATA noted that the international passenger demand in June was 80.9 per cent below June 2019, an improvement from the 85.4 per cent decline recorded in May 2021 versus two years ago.

“All regions with the exception of Asia Pacific contributed to the slightly higher demand,” it said.

According to IATA, total domestic demand was down 22.4 per cent versus pre-crisis levels in June 2019, a slight gain over the 23.7 per cent decline recorded in May 2021 versus the same period in 2019.

“The performance across key domestic markets was mixed with Russia reporting robust expansion while China returned to negative territory,” it added.

IATA director general Willie Walsh said the trade association for the world’s airlines was seeing movement in the right direction, particularly in some key domestic markets.

“But the situation for international travel is nowhere near where we need to be. June should be the start of peak season, but airlines were carrying just 20 per cent of 2019 levels.

“That is not a recovery, it is a continuing crisis caused by government inaction,” he said.

The international traffic for Asia-Pacific airlines in June 2021 fell 94.6 per cent compared to June 2019, unchanged from the 94.5 per cent decline in May 2021 versus May 2019.

The region had the steepest traffic declines for an 11th consecutive month, with capacity dropping 86.7 per cent while the load factor fell 48.3 percentage points to 33.1 per cent, the lowest among regions.