English

Air travel revenue falls to 42% in 2021 from 2019 level

Air travel recovery continued through year-end despite Omicron disruptions, with industry-wide revenue per passenger kilometer (RPK) down 45.1% in December 2021 compared to December 2019, IATA reported.

In all of 2021, global RPKs increased to 41.6% from 2019 levels compared to 34.2% in 2020 as more markets reopened with vaccination progress.

Global passenger seat capacity (ASK) recovered to 51.2% of pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and global passenger load factor was 67.2%, a decrease of 15.4 percentage points in comparison with 2019.

Domestic RPKs – time series

Ticket sales for future travel have deteriorated since November on domestic flights and international routes.

For IATA, this suggests that the traditionally less busy January-February period will be weaker than in the absence of Omicron.

Progress in vaccination and improved testing efficiency helped lift national lockdowns and reopen some international markets.

Air travel

Domestic markets recovered at a faster rate than international routes in 2021 thanks to generally more relaxed travel rules.

However, this recovery was also more volatile due to significant swings in traffic in some of the larger national markets, notably China.

In particular, US domestic air travel rebounded rapidly in the first half of the year, as large-scale vaccination efforts allowed domestic routes to reopen.

However, the Delta outbreak in late summer, and more recently also the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, caused staffing shortages which, coupled with poor weather conditions, prevented RPKs from reaching pre-pandemic levels in the second semester.

US domestic RPKs fell 13.1% in December and 23.8% in 2021 as a whole compared to 2019 levels.

In China, domestic RPKs surpassed pre-crisis levels in April and May amid successful containment of the pandemic.

Since then, small virus outbreaks have been followed by extensive restrictions, leading RPKs to enter contraction territory on several occasions.

This left Chinese domestic RPKs at 60.4% of 2019 levels in December and 75.6% of 2019 traffic in full 2021.

 

Redacción Opportimes

Publicidad
Mostrar más
Botón volver arriba
A %d blogueros les gusta esto: