Middle East airline traffic dropped 97.3% in April - IATA

The International Air Transport Association said that recovery may be starting after the international airline sector hit bottom in January

Recovery may be starting for the airline sector
Recovery may be starting for the airline sector

Middle East airlines posted a 97.3% traffic contraction for April, compared to a 50.3%  demand drop in March, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to the data, the capacity of Middle Easter airlines collapsed 92.3% and load factor dropped to 27.9%, down 52.9 percentage points compared to the same time period a year ago.

Overall, April international passenger demand collapsed 98.4% compared to April 2019, a deterioration from the 58.1% decline recorded in March. Capacity fell 95.1 and load factor fell 55.3 percentage points to 27.5%.

IATA, however, has noted that international demand for air services is beginning to recover after hitting bottom in April.

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Figures show that daily flight totals rose 30% between April 21 and May 27. This is primarily as a result of domestic operations and off of a very low base, totaling 5.7% of 2019 demand.

The data had lead IATA to believe that the air transport industry has seen the bottom of the crisis, provided there is no recurrence.

“April was a disaster for aviation as air travel almost entirely stopped. But April may also represent the nadir of the crisis. Flight numbers are increasing,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“Countries are beginning to lift mobility restrictions. And business confidence is showing improvement in key markets such as China, Germany and the US,” he added. “These are positive signs are we start to rebuild the industry from a stand-still. The initial green shoots will take time – possibly years – to mature.”

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