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World air traffic could drop by up to 1.2 billion passengers: ICAO

23-04-2020, 11:10

Compared to “business-as-usual”, by September 2020 international air passenger totals could drop by as many as 1.2 billion travellers according to the latest projections from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Its estimates also show that international capacity could drop by as much as two-thirds from what had been forecast for the first three quarters this year, leading airline revenues to drop by as much 160 to 253 billion dollars for the January to September period.

Europe and the Asia-Pacific will be hardest hit by the capacity and revenue impacts, followed by North America. Similarly, the most substantial reduction in passenger numbers is expected to be in Europe, especially during its peak summer travel season, followed by the Asia-Pacific.
The UN’s civil aviation agency has been providing regularly updated analyses on the economic impact of COVID-19 on air transport since early February 2020.

Because air connectivity is so critical to economic and sustainable development in every world region, this information is of critical importance to the many national governments and regional organizations now planning for their COVID-19 economic recoveries.

“As overall severity and duration of the pandemic are still uncertain, ICAO has developed six different recovery paths under two indicative scenarios to explore the potential short-term economic implication of the COVID-19 pandemic,” advised ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu in a message to Representatives of ICAO’s Member States.

Some airports are "at risk" of closure because of the loss of business during the coronavirus pandemic, experts have warned.
For instance, in UK nine out of 10 flights have been grounded since country went into lockdown.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged in late 2019 in China’s Hubei province, and the virus has spread to 210 countries and territories since then.

To date, COVID-19 cases have reached 2,639,721 globally, resulting in 722,387 recoveries and 184,280 deaths.