A passenger checks flight information on a board in the departure lounge of Madrid Barajas Airport.
Paul Hanna | Bloomberg | Getty Images
SINGAPORE – More than two decades of passenger traffic growth was erased in 2020, according to a new report.
“The pandemic and its aftermath have wiped out global passenger traffic growth by 21 years in just a few months, reducing traffic this year to 1999 levels,” said Cirium, a travel data and analytics company.
“Compared to the previous year, passenger traffic is expected to decrease by 67% in 2020,” said a press release.
Only 2.9 trillion passenger kilometers (RPKs) were registered worldwide in 2020, up from 8.7 trillion in 2019. RPKs are used as a measure of air travel.
The aviation industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as countries closed their borders to contain the spread of the disease.
According to Cirium, the airlines operated 16.8 million flights from January 1 to December 20, 2020. This corresponds to a decrease of 33.2 million in the same period of 2019.
More than 40 airlines have ceased or ceased operations entirely, according to Cirium, and experts predict more will fail in 2021.
Asia-Pacific and North America were “the fastest to establish themselves on the long road to recovery”, according to Cirium’s Airline Insights Review 2020 report.
This trend was reflected in Cirium’s list of the world’s busiest airports, which was dominated by airports in the United States and China.
David White, vice president of strategy at Cirium, admitted big cities like New York, Beijing and Shanghai were missing from the list and told CNBC that airports like John F. Kennedy in New York were “disproportionately affected” in their international traffic normal times. “
“Airports like Minneapolis, O’Hare (Chicago), [Dallas-Fort Worth]Atlanta and Charlotte now have significantly higher traffic than JFK because of the volume of domestic flights at these domestic airports, “he said. A similar pattern has been reportedly noted observed in some Chinese airports.
International flights decreased by 68% compared to 2019, while domestic travel decreased by 40%.
Cirium assumes that passenger demand for air travel will recover in 2024 or 2025. Domestic and leisure traffic is the first segment to show “sustainable recovery”.