IATA reveals June’s “disappointing” air traffic figures

Asia-Pacific has been the worst hit, experiencing 94.6% drop compared to June 2019, with Europe suffering similar losses 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that passenger demand for June 2021 showed little improvement in both international and domestic air travel. 

It remains significantly lower than pre-pandemic figures due to the ongoing travel restrictions.  

Total demand for air travel last month was down 60.1% compared to June 2019 – a slight improvement on May which recorded a 62.9% decline.  

Photo IATA

International passenger demand was 80.9% below records from two years ago, whereas domestic fell by 22.4% compared with pre-pandemic levels.  

“We are seeing movement in the right direction, particularly in some key domestic markets,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “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% of 2019 levels. That’s not a recovery, it’s a continuing crisis caused by government inaction.” 

Asia-pacific airline’s June International traffic dropped by 94.6% compared to the same time in 2019. This region has suffered the steepest traffic declines for eleven consecutive months, with capacity also dropping by 86.7%.  

European carriers have also seen a 77.4% decline in demand, with capacity falling by 67.3%.  

Similarly, both Middle Eastern and North American airlines have experienced a drop in traffic by 79.4% and 69.6%, respectively.  

Latin American carriers saw a 69.4% drop in June demand, with African airlines falling by 68.2%.  

Walsh continued: “Despite growing numbers of vaccinated people and improved testing capacity we are very close to losing another peak summer season on the important transatlantic market. And the UK’s flip-flop to reinstate quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from France is the kind of policy development that destroys consumer confidence when it is most needed. 

“A risk-managed re-connecting of the world is what we need. Vaccinated travellers should have their freedom of movement returned. An efficient testing regime can sufficiently manage risks for those unable to be vaccinated.” 

Comparatively, China’s domestic traffic is now only facing a 10.8% decline and US domestic markets have seen signs of recovery, as they are currently experiencing a 14.9% drop compared to the previous month which saw a 25.4% decline.