Covid-19: Worst summer ever in aviation leads IATA to worsen projections

Worldwide traffic is expected to drop 66% this year

The weak recovery of aviation in recent months, which caused the «worst summer ever» in the sector, today led the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to worsen its projections, predicting that world traffic will fall by 66% this year.

In a statement, IATA indicates that it "has lowered its traffic forecast for 2020 to reflect a weaker-than-expected recovery, as evidenced by the dismal end of the northern hemisphere summer travel season."

Thus, the current forecast is that the covid-19 pandemic and the restrictive measures that followed will cause a drop in air traffic by 66% worldwide this year compared to last year, when previously IATA pointed to a reduction of 63 %.

Contributing to this downward revision is the fact that demand is "extremely weakened from normal levels" in August and that, also this month, "the recovery of passenger air services was interrupted by a return of government restrictions in the face of new outbreaks of covid-19 in several key markets'.

According to the Executive President of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac, this was in fact the «worst summer season ever in the industry», marked especially by a «disastrous traffic performance in August».

Pointing out that "the recovery of international demand is practically non-existent" and that some domestic markets are "regressing", the official speaks of a "sad period" of summer, usually high season in aviation.

Regarding Europe, the association that represents 209 airlines worldwide - including Portuguese TAP - and 82% of global transport points out that the demand for European carriers sank 79,9% in August compared to the same month last year.

Even so, this reduction was better than that registered last July (87%), when travel restrictions began to be lifted in the Schengen area.

"However, data from more recent flights suggests that this trend has been reversed due to the return to restrictions and quarantine in some markets", laments IATA.

The covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for travel worldwide due to restrictive measures taken to contain the outbreak, with airlines experiencing serious financial difficulties due to lack of liquidity.