More than 20 years of airline passenger traffic growth was erased in 2020, report finds

A passenger checks flight info on a board in the departures corridor at Madrid Barajas airport.

Paul Hanna | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE — More than twenty years of growth in airline passenger traffic have been erased in 2020, a brand new report discovered.

“The pandemic and its consequences wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing traffic this year to levels last seen in 1999,” mentioned Cirium, a journey information and analytics firm.

“In comparison to last year, passenger traffic is estimated to be down 67% in 2020,” the agency mentioned in a press launch.

Only 2.9 trillion international income passenger kilometers (RPKs) have been recorded in 2020, versus 8.7 trillion in 2019. RPKs are used as a measure of airline traffic.

The aviation trade was hit onerous by the coronavirus pandemic, as international locations closed their borders in a bid to stem the unfold of the illness.

According to Cirium’s information, airways operated 16.Eight million flights from Jan. 1 to Dec. 20, 2020. That’s down from 33.2 million in the identical interval in 2019.

More than 40 airways utterly ceased or suspended operations, and specialists count on extra to fail in 2021, in keeping with Cirium.

Road to restoration

Asia-Pacific and North America have been the “fastest to establish themselves on the long path to recovery,” in keeping with Cirium’s Airline Insights Review 2020 report.

That development was mirrored in Cirium’s record of the world’s busiest airports, which was dominated by airports in the U.S. and China.

Acknowledging that main cities corresponding to New York , Beijing and Shanghai have been lacking from the record, David White, a vice chairman of technique at Cirium, instructed CNBC it seems that airports corresponding to New York’s John F. Kennedy have been “disproportionately impacted due to their international traffic in normal times.”

“Airports such as Minneapolis, O’Hare (Chicago), [Dallas-Fort Worth], Atlanta and Charlotte have significantly higher traffic than JFK now due to the volume of domestic flights at those domestic hub airports,” he mentioned. The same sample was reportedly noticed in some Chinese airports.

International flights fell 68% in comparison with 2019, whereas home journey was down 40%.

Cirium expects passenger demand for air journey to bounce again in 2024 or 2025, with home and leisure traffic being the primary segments to point out “sustained recovery.”

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