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Omicron: Travel restrictions are a threat for industry’s recovery says IATA

The travel bans imposed from governments will leave the recovery of travel and tourism lagging behind, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed.

Furthermore, the Association published data on the recovery of air travel from October 2021, revealing that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the demand for air travel. .

According to the report, the total demand for air travel in October was down by 49.4 per cent compared to the corresponding time in 2019. The demand for air travel is measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPK, in which revenue passenger-kilometre means that one passenger is carried on one kilometre. This rate recovered by 53.3 per cent from the fall recorded in September 2021, compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

In addition, the report also reveals that domestic markets globally dropped by 21.6 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2019, improving the 24.2 per cent decline recorded from September 2021 to 2019.

Furthermore, the international passenger demand in October was 65.5 per cent below October 2019, compared to a 69.0 per cent decrease for September compared to the 2019 period, with all regions showing improvement.

According to Willie Walsh, Head of IATA, findings for October confirm that people will travel when they are allowed to.

“Unfortunately, government responses to the emergence of the Omicron variant are putting at risk the global connectivity it has taken so long to rebuild,” he said.

Furthermore, data for October 2021 shows that Europe held 23.7 per cent of the industry RPK in 2020, as RPK fell by 45.3 per cent, in addition to Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) levels falling to 36.6 per cent.

Moreover, the change in load factor from October 2021 to 2019 has dropped by 11.8 per cent. In general, the load factor level in Europe stands at 74.9 per cent, standing only behind Latin American, which has an 80.9 per cent load factor level compared to 2019.

In addition, the international traffic of European carriers in October 2021 dropped by 50.6 per cent compared to the corresponding time in 2019. It improved over the 56.6 per cent decline in September compared to 2019. The capacity dropped 41.3 per cent, and the load factor fell 13.7 percentage points to 72.5 per cent. (Source

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