Home >News >India >Covid-19: IATA blames international curbs for muted recovery in travel

NEW DELHI: World over, domestic travel demand improved sequentially in April, although it remained well below pre-pandemic levels, with many countries continuing to follow travel curbs, airline industry body The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a statement.

"Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to April 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern," IATA, which has over 290 airline members globally, said.

"Total demand for air travel in April 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 65.4% compared to April 2019. That was an improvement over the 66.9% decline recorded in March 2021 versus March 2019. The better performance was driven by gains in most domestic markets," it added in the statement.

According to IATA, international passenger demand in April was 87.3% below April 2019, and little changed from the 87.8% decline recorded in March 2021 when compared with levels seen two years ago.

Total demand was down 25.7% versus pre-crisis levels (April 2019), much improved over March 2021, when domestic traffic fell 31.6% from the 2019 period, it said.

All markets except Brazil and India showed sequential improvement in April, with both China and Russia reporting traffic growth compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, it added.

“The continuing strong recovery in domestic markets tells us that when people are given the freedom to fly, they take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that freedom still does not exist in most international markets," IATA’s director general Willie Walsh said. "When it does, I’m confident we will see a similar resurgence in demand."

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