Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright spot, also stalled; with November domestic traffic down 41.0 per cent compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1 per cent below the previous year’s level in October). Capacity was 27.1 per cent down on 2019 levels and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6 per cent.
IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, remarked the already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a full stop in November.
“That’s because governments responded to new outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine measures. This is inefficient. Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution.
“In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start economic recovery. How much more anguish do people need to go through—job losses, mental stress—before governments will understand that?”
European carriers saw an 87 per cent decline in traffic in November versus a year ago, worsened from an 83 per cent decline in October. Capacity withered 76.5 per cent and load factor fell by 37.4 percentage points to 46.6 per cent.
Middle Eastern airlines’ demand plummeted 86 per cent in November year-to-year, which was improved from an 86.9 per cent demand drop in October. Capacity fell 71 per cent, and load factor declined 37.9 percentage points to 35.3 per cent.
North American carriers had an 83 per cent traffic drop in November, versus an 87.8 per cent decline in October. Capacity dived 66.1 per cent, and load factor dropped 40.5 percentage points to 40.8 per cent.