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IATA: Passenger Traffic in EU Saw an Improvement of 43.7% of Pre-Pandemic Levels

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that the air travel recovery continued to occur in November 2021, right before the Omicron strain.

In addition, the total demand for air travel in November decreased by 47 per cent compared to the corresponding time in 2019, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Domestic revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs fell by 24.9 per cent compared to 2019 – with a 21.3 per cent shortfall noted in October. In addition, the international passenger demand in November was 60.5 per cent behind pre-pandemic levels, bettering the 64.8 per cent decrease recorded in October.

“Unfortunately, governments over-reacted to the emergence of the Omicron variant at the close of the month and resorted to the tried-and-failed methods of border closures, excessive testing of travellers and quarantine to slow the spread,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General, said.

In addition, he noted that the international ticket sales made in December and early January dropped significantly compared to 2019, implying that a more difficult first quarter than anticipated was ahead.

He also restated that there is little to no relationship between the introduction of travel restrictions and preventing transmission of the virus across borders.

>> IATA: Travel Restrictions Don’t Limit COVID-19 Infection Rates

In terms of international passenger markets, the European air service providers experienced a 43.7 per cent decline in pre-pandemic levels, much improved compared to the 49.4% decline noted in October versus the same month in 2019. In addition, capacity fell to 36.3 per cent, and load factor dropped 9.7 percentage points to 74.3 per cent.

In addition, the Asia-Pacific airlines witnessed their November international traffic drop at 89.5 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels, slightly recovering from the 92 per cent decrease registered in October 2021 compared to the corresponding time in 2019. Capacity fell at 80 per cent, and the load factor was down 37.8 percentage points to 42.2 per cent, which accounted for the lowest among all regions.

Middle Eastern airlines had a 54.4 per cent traffic drop in November – 6.5 per cent up compared to the decrease in October versus the same month in pre-pandemic levels. Capacity dropped at 45.5 per cent, and load factor fell by 11.9 percentage points to 61.3 per cent.

Furthermore, the North American carriers saw a 44.8 per cent traffic drop in November compared to the same time in 2019. In addition, the capacity fell at 35.6 per cent and the load factor to 69.6 per cent.

>> IATA: Travel Restrictions Are a Threat for Industry’s Recovery

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