General Industry

International Passenger Travel Down 89% In February, IATA Says

By Steve Wynne-Jones
International Passenger Travel Down 89% In February, IATA Says

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that international passenger air travel was down 88.7% in February 2021, compared to pre-crisis levels (February 2019).

This follows on from a 85.7% decline in January 2021, with the numbers having been 'distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19', the IATA said in a statement.

Performance in all regions worsened compared to January 2021.

Elsewhere total domestic demand was down 51.0% compared to pre-crisis (February 2019) levels. In January it was down 47.8% on the 2019 period, again a worsening of the situation for air travel.

European carriers reported a 89% decrease in traffic compared to February 2019, while capacity sank 80.5%.


“February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel," said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

"In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants. An important exception was the Australian domestic market. A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel.

"This tells us that people have not lost their desire travel. They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures."

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