2020 worst year on record

2020 worst year on record

Just released airline industry statistics have confirmed what we already know – 2020 was the worst year on record for the industry.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released the IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) publication with performance figures for 2020 demonstrating the devastating effects on global air transport during that year of the Covid-19 crisis.

‘Highlights’ of the report include:
• 1.8 billion passengers flew in 2020, a decrease of 60.2% compared to the 4.5 billion who flew in 2019;
• Industry-wide air travel demand (measured in revenue passenger-kilometres, or RPKs) dropped by 65.9% year-on-year;
• International passenger demand (RPKs) decreased by 75.6% compared to the year prior;
• Domestic air passenger demand (RPKs) dropped by 48.8% compared to 2019;
• Air connectivity declined by more than half in 2020 and total industry passenger revenues fell by 69%.

‘Analysing the performance statistics for the year reveals an amazing story of perseverance,’ says Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. ‘At the depth of the crisis in April 2020, 66% of the world’s commercial air transport fleet was grounded as governments closed borders or imposed strict quarantines.

‘A million jobs disappeared and industry losses for the year totaled $126 billion. Many governments recognised aviation’s critical contributions and provided financial lifelines and other forms of support. But it was the rapid actions by airlines and the commitment of our people that saw the airline industry through the most difficult year in its history.’

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