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June Air Travel Recovery Continues to Disappoint

June Air Travel Recovery Continues to Disappoint
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General
Written by Harry Johnson

Demand remains significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels owing to international travel restrictions.

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  • Total demand for air travel in June 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 60.1% compared to June 2019.
  • International passenger demand in June was 80.9% below June 2019.
  • Total domestic demand was down 22.4% versus pre-crisis levels (June 2019).

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger demand performance for June 2021 showing a very slight improvement in both international and domestic air travel markets. Demand remains significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels owing to international travel restrictions. 

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General

As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are to June 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Total demand for air travel in June 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 60.1% compared to June 2019. That was a small improvement over the 62.9% decline recorded in May 2021 versus May 2019. 
  • International passenger demand in June was 80.9% below June 2019, an improvement from the 85.4% decline recorded in May 2021 versus two years ago. All regions with the exception of Asia-Pacific contributed to the slightly higher demand. 
  • Total domestic demand was down 22.4% versus pre-crisis levels (June 2019), a slight gain over the 23.7% decline recorded in May 2021 versus the 2019 period. The performance across key domestic markets was mixed with Russia reporting robust expansion while China returned to negative territory. 

“We are seeing movement in the right direction, particularly in some key domestic markets. But the situation for international travel is nowhere near where we need to be. June should be the start of peak season, but airlines were carrying just 20% of 2019 levels. That’s not a recovery, it’s a continuing crisis caused by government inaction,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years.
Harry lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and is original from Europe.
He loves to write and has been covering as the assignment editor for eTurboNews.

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