IATA states that demand for both domestic and international flights clearly increased in July compared with June. At the same time, however, demand remains far from pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions that are delaying a recovery, primarily in the international market.
Demand for air travel, which IATA measures in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), increased worldwide in July compared to June according to new statistics from the organization which show that demand was 53 percent lower in July compared to July 2019. This is a clear improvement compared to June as demand was 60 percent lower compared to the same period in 2019.
In July, it was also clear that it is domestic aviation that is leading the recovery. Demand for domestic travel was down 16 percent compared to July 2019, while demand for international travel was down 74 percent compared to July 2019. IATA believes that the problem for international traffic is travel restrictions and problems with traveling between countries because of this.
“The results in July reflect people’s eagerness to travel during the summer in the northern hemisphere. Domestic traffic was back to 85 percent of pre-crisis levels, but international demand has only recovered to just over a quarter of volumes in 2019. The problem is border control measures. Government decisions are not driven by data, especially as regards the effectiveness of the vaccine. People traveled where they could, and it was mainly in the domestic markets. A recovery in international travel requires governments to restore the freedom to travel. At the very least, vaccinated travelers should not face restrictions. It would do a lot to reconnect the world and revive the travel sector and tourism, “said Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA.
For Europe, July showed a total recovery of demand to 44 percent of levels in July 2019 and a cabin factor for the continent that landed at 73 percent, which is also close to the average cabin factor for large parts of the world air traffic as IATA for statistics. The continent that performed best in July was North America, where demand is at 72 percent of the level in July 2019 and flights to and from and within North America had an average cabin factor of 84 percent.