Airline passenger traffic fell 60% in the world in 2020

Airline passenger traffic recorded a 60% year-on-year drop in the world in 2020, according to preliminary figures from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In principle, the Covid-19 pandemic has appeared in almost all regions of the world, which has prompted the implementation of important measures imposed by the government to prevent or reduce its spread, including travel restrictions, border closures, requests for “Shelter in place” and business closings.

As a result, airlines have experienced an unprecedented decline in demand for air travel, which has resulted in a substantial deterioration in their revenues.

For example, in the case of American Airlines, while its business performed largely as expected in January and February 2020, a severe reduction in air travel from March 2020 resulted in its total operating income declining. approximately 20% in the first quarter of 2020, 86% in the second quarter of 2020, and 73% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the first, second, and third quarters of 2019, respectively.

According to ICAO, all this produced a general reduction of 50% of the seats offered by airlines in the world in 2020.


At the same time, there was a general decrease of 2,699 million passengers (-60% year-on-year).

ICAO also estimates the loss of gross passenger operating income for airlines globally at approximately $ 371 billion.

On the one hand, a general reduction of 66% in the seats offered by the airlines and a decrease of 1.376 million passengers (-74 percent) was registered in international passenger traffic.

Similarly, in international passenger traffic, ICAO estimates the loss of gross operating income for airlines at around $ 250 billion.

On the other hand, in domestic passenger traffic, his calculations lead to a 38% reduction in the seats offered by airlines and a decrease of 1.323 million passengers (-50 percent).

Finally, ICAO estimates the loss of gross operating income for airlines at about $ 120 billion.