Worldwide air traffic dropped 60% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and continues to decline short-term, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The ICAO unveiled that travel restrictions worldwide have caused the number of passengers to fall to 1.8 billion in 2020, down from 4.5 billion in 2019. The Montreal-based United Nations agency stated that demand is predicted to fall, which could worsen for the current fiscal quarter.
There was a 50% reduction in domestic passenger traffic and a 74% reduction in international passenger traffic in 2020. In total, 1.4 billion fewer people were carried in 2020 than in 2019. This resulted in cumulative losses of $370 billion. Airports and air navigation service providers lost a total of $115 billion and $13 billion, a situation which threatens millions of jobs worldwide, as said the agency.
As most travelers choose to reach their destinations by plane, the global tourism market is also under pressure. Vaccination successes, which were initiated in developed countries, may play a role in the industry’s recovery to be expected in the second quarter. Several countries have already given aid to companies, or are planning to shortly.
January 2020 saw a decline in the industry, but it was confined to only a few countries. As a result of the spread of the new coronavirus at the end of March, the aviation industry was almost immobile worldwide, the ICAO reported.
The number of passengers declined by 92% in April compared with the same period in 2019. Passenger traffic increased briefly in some northern countries during the summer, and then dropped again once the second wave of the pandemic arrived in September, and restrictions were re-imposed worldwide.
The organization notes that internationally, domestic flights have outstripped international flights; this is especially true in China and Russia, where airports have already regained their pre-pandemic levels.