IATA: 2020 was a disaster for global aviation.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced the results of global passenger traffic for 2020, which shows that demand (RPK) has fallen by 65.9% compared to 2019, by far the sharpest decline in traffic in aviation history.



International passenger demand in 2020 was 75.6% below 2019 levels. Capacity (ASK) decreased by 68.1% and the load factor decreased by 19.2 percentage points, reaching 62.8%. Domestic traffic in 2020 decreased by 48.8% compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 35.7%, and the load factor decreased by 17 percentage points, to 66.6%.

Air traffic in 2020 worldwide.

Asia-Pacific

Year-round traffic of airlines in the area Asia-Pacific decreased by 80.3% in 2020 compared to 2019. A decrease of 94.7% was recorded in December, amid stricter measures, compared to the decrease of 95% in November. Capacity decreased by 74.1% compared to 2019. The load factor decreased by 19.5 percentage points, reaching 61.4%.

Europe

European carriers recorded a decrease in traffic of 73.7% in 2020 compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 66.3%, and the loading factor decreased by 18.8 percentage points, to 66.8%.

Middle East

The annual passenger demand of Middle Eastern airlines in 2020 was 72.9% below the demand of 2019. The annual capacity decreased by 63.9% and the loading factor decreased by 18.9 percentage points, reaching 57.3%.

North America

North American airline traffic decreased by 75.4% compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 65.5%, and the load factor decreased by 23.9 percentage points, to 60.1%.

Latin America

Latin American airlines recorded a decrease in traffic by 71.8% for the whole year, compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 67.7%, and the loading factor decreased by 10.4 percentage points, to 72,4%.

Africa

African airline traffic decreased by 69.8% in 2020 compared to 2019. Capacity decreased by 61.5% and the load factor decreased by 15.4 percentage points, reaching 55.9%. Carriers in the region have benefited from less severe international travel restrictions compared to the rest of the world.

The forecast IATA for 2021 claims that demand will increase by 50.4% compared to 2020 demand, which would bring the industry to 50.6% of the levels of 2019. Although estimates are unchanged at present, they may change if travel restrictions persist, as response to new strains of the virus. If such a scenario materializes, demand could increase by only 13% compared to 2020, leaving the industry at only 38% by 2019.

* RPK = Revenue Passenger Kilometers
* ASK = Available Seat Kilometers

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