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How 2020 Has Changed Aviation and the Airline Industry?

person| 11 Jan, 2021

The financial impact of COVID-19 has been huge to the aviation industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported passenger demand in April at its lowest plunging by 94.3% 2 compared to April 2019. IATA initially stated 4 that airline passenger revenues could drop by $314 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19, a fall of 55% compared to 2019, however further analysis 5 is now showing this could fall by as much as $419 billion

Since the beginning of 2020, more and more countries across the globe shut down borders and limit domestic travel as a response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Thus, cancelling almost all flights to control the spread of the virus has affected the entire airline industry globally.

During the week of October 12, 2020, the number of scheduled flights worldwide decreased by 46.4 percent in comparison with the week of October 14, 2019 with high cross-country variations. In some countries the year-on-year decline in the number of passenger flights reached over 90 percent, for instance, reaching 98 percent decline in Italy. On March 22, 2020, airline capacity in Europe was down by almost 88 percent compared to the same day in 2019. In the first half of 2020, global air passenger declined by approximately 1.2 billion passengers. Therefore, the international airline industry is estimated to experience a severe V-shaped decline throughout 2020 in terms of capacity, with cross-regional variances with respect to the severity of the decline. For example, the passenger capacity decline is estimated to hit Europe the worst. In the second quarter of 2020, a 90 percent decline in European passenger traffic is estimated, if the same travel restrictions will continue to prevail.

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